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OF THIS EDITION 
1,000 Copies have been printed. 







J-LUIU' 




THE RUBA’IYAT 


OF 






BEING 

A Facsimile of the Manmcvipt in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, 
until a Transcript into modern Persian Characters, 


TRANSLATED, WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND NOTES, 
AND A BIBLIOGRAPHY, AND SOME SIDELIGHTS 
UPON EDWARD FITZGERALD’S POEM 


EDWARD 


BY 


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, SECOND EDITION 

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Ii. S. NICHOLS LTD. CRO.SS ROAD W.C. 


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COPYRIGHTED IN GREAT BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES, im. 








TABLE OF CONTENTS 


FAG£ 

Introduction i — xlii 

English translation i 

Photographic facsimile of MS. 29 

Bibliographical references, for abbreviations in the 

notes 115 

Facsimile pages with transcript, translation, and 

notes iig 

Bibliography of Omar Khayyam • ■ - - 381 

Some Sidelights upon Edward FitzGerald’s Poem, 

‘‘The Kuba’iyat of Omar Khayyam” • - 389 



PREFATORY NOTE TO THE SECOND 
EDITION 


I CONFESS that I am surprised — and agreeably so — to 
find that, within six months of the first publication of this 
volume, a second and larger edition is called for. I am not, 
however, so blinded with satisfaction as not to realize that the 
success of my book has been brought about, not so much by 
any intrinsic merits of its own, as by the ever-widening 
interest that is felt in the matchless poem of FitzGerald 
which was primarily responsible for its appearance. I have 
taken advantage of the opportunity thus afforded me to make 
several revisions suggested by scholarly critics, and to add a 
considerable mass of material which was not selected, or not 
discovered, in January last. I am glad to have found this 
further occasion for addressing my readers, 'if'for no other 
reason than to record my indebtedness to Professor E. 
Denison Ross, who has not only helped me very greatly with 
the revision, but has had the kindness to correct the proofs of 
this edition for me during my absence from England. 


Venice, 

May, 1898. 


EDWARD HERON-ALLEN. 





With a pathetic insistence, equalled only by that with 
which King Charles’s head intruded upon the memorial of 
Mr. Dick, a few biographical details concerning the Life of 
Ghias ud-dln Abul Path ’Omar bin Ibrahim A1 Khayyam ^ 
(as recorded in the Testament of Ni^am ul Mulk, and cited 
thence in Mirkhond’s History of the Assassins, ^ in Khondemir’s 
Habib us-Siyar, and in the Dabistan®) have intruded upon the 
prefatory excursions of almost every author, poet, or translator 
that has published any book or article having these quatrains 

1, The European forms of our author’s name vary in accordance with his 
translators! and historians' nationalities and tastes in transliteration. In English 
works and catalogues alone we get the variations Omar Khayyam, Omar-i-Khayyam, 
and Omar al Khayyam. Mons. Nicolas, in his note on p. 2, says: " His real 
name was Omar, but being constrained to follow the oriental custom which 
requires every poet to assume a surname (takhallus), he preserved the name which 
indicated the profession of his father, and his own, z.r., Khayyam—' tent maker ’ 
(vide note 1 to q. 22, post; vide also p. xl ). The Persians say that it was the extreme 
modesty of Omar that prevented his taking a more brilliant surname, like that of 
Firdausi (= the Celestial) ; Sa’di (= the Happy) ; An war! (= the Luminous) ; Hafiz 

the Preserver).” Prof. Cowell favours me with the following observations: “The 
Atash Kadah calls him ' Khayyam,’ adding (and Persian authors generally do so) 
'and they call him ’Omar’ ^). Still, the Persian preface 

of the Calcutta MS, has ' Omar Khayyam ’ like us Europeans. . . . Sprenger 
in his Catalogue calls him ' Omar Khayyam,’ and so does Dr. Rieu in his British 
Museum Catalogue. ' Omar Khayyam ’ has therefore (as you see) plenty of 
authority for it, ‘ Omar al Khayyam,' as far as I can see, has none,’’ 

2, Muhammad ibn Khavand Shah Mir Khwand. “History of the Early 
Kings of Persia,” translated by D. Shea. London, 1832. (Oriental Translation 
Fund.) 

3, The Dabistan is a treatise upon religious sects, the author of which 
is not named, but which is supposed to have been written by one Mulla Mubad. 
A translation by D. Shea and A. Troyer was issued in 1843 by the Oriental 
Translation Fund. 


h 


11 


Introduction 


for theme. Broadly speaking, these ma}^ be said to include 
the story of the tripartite agreement for their mutual advan- 
tage of Omar Khayyam with Nizam ul Mulk and Hasan ibn 
Sabah ; his reform of the calendar ; the critical exordium of 
Shahrastani ; the story of his apparition to his mother ; 
and the one about his tomb related by his pupil, Nizami of 
Samarcand. It may be further observed that recent criticism 
has cast grave doubts upon the authenticity of these details. 
In like manner, since the death of Mr. FitzGerald, we may 
apply the same observation to the biographical details of 
his life, which have been sifted from his own charming 
letters, or strained from the mass of magazine literature that 
has appeared during the intervening periods, to appear as 
integral portions of introductions, ever increasing in bulk and 
weight. 

As it is improbable that this work will reach the hands of, 
or at any rate be seriously studied by, anyone who has not read 
Edward FitzGerald’s own preface to his poem, and as it is un- 
likely that any student will read this volume unless his interest 
in that poem has been sufficient to have caused him to read the 
“Letters and Literary Remains of Edward FitzGerald,” I will 
allow myself to preserve a discreet silence upon these points, 
and will not burden my introduction with stories that are 
already wearisomely familiar to my readers. I would refer 
those who desire to study the magazine literature of the subject 
to the articles of Mr. Gosse {Fortnightly Review, July, 1889), Mr. 
Groome {Blackwood^s Magazine, November, 1889), Mr. Clodd 
{English Ilhistrated Magazine, February, 1894), and Mr. Schatz- 
Wilson {Contemporary Review, March, 1876). For the rest, the 
enquirer is referred to the Bibliographical Appendix and to 
Poole’s Index of Periodical Literature, 

There remains at our disposal the story ot how the first 
edition of FitzGerald’s poem fell from grace to the penny box, 
and rose thence to twenty guineas per copy — and an honoured 
anecdotage. For the details of this progression the reader is 
referred to the introduction to Mr. J. H. McCarthy’s prose 



Introduction 


111 


version, which is, as far as my studies have taken me, the most 
scholarly, the most enthusiastic, an^i the most graceful essay 
upon these more than triturated themes that has yet seen the 
light. {Vide Terminal Essay, p. 297,) Of critical essays upon 
FitzGerald’s poem, probably the best is that of Mr. Keene 
{Macmillan's Magazine^ November, 1887), though it will pre- 
sently be seen that I disagree with the views he has expressed; 
and of essays ex cathedra — that is to say, written by oriental 
scholars, since the fundamental essay of Professor Cowell 
{Calcutta Review y March, 1B58) nothing has surpassed that of 
Professor Pickering {National Review y December, 1890). 


Apart, however, from the anecdotal history of this collec- 
tion of quatrains, and of the matchless poem which they 
inspired, there is a chapter of history worthy our careful con- 
sideration — the chapter containing the history of the period ex- 
tending from about a.d. 1050-60, within which limits the birth 
of Omar Khayyam has by consent of his historiographers been 
fixed, until the year 1123 (a.h. 517), when his death is recorded 
upon more or less contemporaneous authority. Within this 
period our poet-mathematician lived, and from the events of that 
period— events which were stirring Islam to the foundation of its 
faith — came influences which may have tinged the philosophy 
preached by the singer. The internal evidence of the collection 
negatives the idea that the quatrains were written at one time 
as components of a consecutive whole, and suggests that they 
were written at intervals extending over the whole period ot 
Omar's life, and collected, generally into the consecutive- 
alphabetical, or familiar dlwan form, at the end of his life, 
or, as is more probable, after his death. In point of fact, I 
think it not unlikely that most of his quatrains were transmitted 
as traditional epigrams, and collected at the instance of later 
poets such as Hafiz or JamI, or his pupil Nizami, many of 
whose recollections of Omar’s quatrains, strongly imbued with 
the proclivities of their recorders, have passed into currency 
as the ipsissima verba of Omar, among the voluminous col- 

b — 2 



IV 


Introdwtion 


lections of quatrains which, during five centuries, have been 
brought together and issued from time to time as his work. 

It is reasonable to assume that passing events had little 
or no influence upon Omar and his work until, at earliest, 
A.D. 1076, when the conquest of Jerusalem by the Turks led 
to that protracted convulsion of the Muhammadan world 
whose opening phase was the First Crusade.^ The Sultan 
Toghrul Beg had been succeeded in 1063 by Alp Arslan, who 
extended his dominion from the Mediterranean Sea to Central 
Asia, and, being assassinated on Christmas Day, 1072, was 
succeeded by his son Malik Shah, the patron and protector 
of Omar Khayyam. No more perfect picture of the era of 
Omar can be found than that contained in the MakamSt 
(or “Assemblies”) of El Hariri the silk merchant, who, born 
in Bussorah in 1054, and dying in 1122, wrote the book of 
which Professor Chenery and Dr. Steingass have given us 
a masterly translation.® The origin of this book was, 
we are told, his accidental meeting with one of the few 
survivors of the massacre of Seruj, when that city was 
attacked and destroyed by Baldwin, brother of Godfrey of 
Bouillon, in the year 1098, during the period when he ruled 
the Christian Principality of Edessa.® In 1084 the conquest 
of Asia Minor may be said to have been completed by the 
Turks, in 1088 began the series of persecutions of Christian 
pilgrims to Jerusalem which led to the Crusades, and, in, 
1092, Malik Shah died, having, in addition to his territorial 
conquests, reformed the calendar by means of the labours of 
eight learned men, of whom Omar was one, and inaugurated, 
by the correction of all errors of reckoning, either past or 
future, the Jalali era, a computation of time which, says 

1, For a simplified account, see “The Crusades" in the “ Story of the 
Nations " series, hy T. A. Archer and C. L. Kingsford. London and New 
York, 1894. 

2, "The Assemblies of A1 Hariri.*’ London, 1867. This edition con- 
tained only twenty-six •’ Assemblies," but the work has now been completed by 
Dr. Steingass for the subscribers to the Oriental Translation Fund. 

3, According to some authorities, the conquests of Syria and Palestine and 
the Empire of the far East were accomplished by Malik Shah {c. 1074-5), but 
this does not concern us in this place. 



Introduction 


V 


Gibbon, surpassed the Julian, and approached the accuracy 
of the Gregorian style.^ It is difficult to resist the temptation to 
touch upon some of the leading episodes of this period — 
the disgrace of Nizam ul Mulk; the successive reigns of the 
Seljuk Sultans, Mahmud (1092), Bargiyaruk (1094), Malik 
Shah II. (1104), Muhammad (1104), Sanjar (1117), and 
the period of comparative tranquillity v?hich supervened, 
during which Omar died® (1123) in retirement and philo- 
sophical repose at Naishapur, his declining years softened 
by the companions, the roses, and the wine whose Canticle 
he sang to such lasting purpose, within sight of the still 
beautiful and fertile valley of Meshed in Khorasan, that nursery 
of Persian song, which boasted itself the birthplace in turn of 
Firdausi, of AsadI, of Ferid ud-din ’Attar, of Jalal-ud-dln 
Rflml, of JamI, of Hatifi, and many others, and which may 
justly be named the Persian Parnassus. 


In the West a sharp line of demarcation is apt to be drawn 
between men of thought and men of action. The names of a 
few soldier-poets and artisan-philosophers surge in the mind 
as one writes this, but these are few and far between. It has 
not been so in the East. Omar the tent-maker, Attar the 
druggist occur to one’s mind par nobile fratrum, and what 
better examples could be cited than Omar the Mugherl 
(who has been confused ere now with our Omar), “the noble- 
man, the warrior, the libertine, but above all the poet — ^the 
Don Juan of Mecca, the Ovid of Arabia and the East — Omar 

t, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire/' chap. Ivii. Vid^ also 
Dr. Hyde's work (p. xiv.), chap, xvi., pp. 200-21 1, Mr. Binning (vida note 2, 
p, XXV, ) states that this work was done under the auspices of Sultan Jalal-ud-dtn 
of Khorasan, who ordered that, once every four years, six extra intercalary days, 
instead of the usual five, should be added, so as to make up the complete solar 
year, which consequently corresponds closely with our Gregorian year, (Vol. ii., 
p. i07.) 

2, A. Houtum-Schindler, in a letter to the Acadmy (24th January, 1885), 
states that Onur died in a.d. 1124, ov6y om hundred years old: but he does not 
give hl$ authority for this information. 



VI 


Introduction 


the Mugherl, the grandson of Abu-Rabi’ah,” ^ and above all, 
Husain Ibn Sina, known to the western world as Avicenna, 
the Philosopher, Doctor, Metaphysician, Poet, and Mystic, 
whose works, varied as they are almost ad infinitum in manner 
and matter, engaged the printing-presses of Europe (as may 
be appreciated by a glance at the Bibliographies) at the end 
of the 15th, through the i6th, and to the beginning of the 
17th centuries, almost to the exclusion of contemporary poets 
and scientists. He was born in a.d. 980 at Bokhara, son of 
a Persian tax-collector, and died in 1036, and his compara- 
tively recent fame may well have spurred the ambition of the 
youthful Omar ; but his fame presents this contrast to that of 
Omar : his science lived, and lives eternal, whilst his poetry is 
relegated to the Walhalla of pre-historic verse, whereas the 
science of Omar is disregarded, existing only for the curious in 
the “ Algebre d’Omar al Khayyami, traduite et accompagn6c 
d’extraits de MSS. inedits” (Paris, 1851, Woepeke), whilst 
his “ Ruba’iyat” have assumed the purple among classic poems. 
Professor Pickering {loc. cit.) has ably dealt with this side of 
Omar’s fame. (Vide Terminal Essay, p. 290.) 

It is not for me to enter upon a discourse concerning the 
fundamental principles of his religion and philosophy; this is a 
field that has been ploughed (and harrowed) by eminent 
students of philosophical history and problems ; Professor 
Cowell, Professor Pickering, and Mr. Schiitz-Wilson, in the 
articles above referred to, have argued and expounded the 
matter from their various standpoints. Mr. Whinfield has 
given us in his “Introduction” a masterly rSsume of the 
subject. I think that every student of Omar reads into this 
poet’s quatrains his own pet philosophy, and interprets him 
according to his own religious views. For me, Omar was‘ 
at once a transcendental agnostic and an ornamental pes- 
simist, not always supported (as was natural, considering the 

I. W. G. Palgrave in Fraser's Magazine, April, i87i» ** Arabiana." The 
curious are referred to •' ’Umar ibn AM Rebi’a, ein arabischer Dichter der 
Umajjadenzeit,” by P. Schwarz. I^ipzig, 1890. This Omar wa? born in the 
year a.d. 644. 



Inlyodiictio 7 i 


Vll 


era of religious hysteria in which he lived) by the courage 
of his own opinions — in which respect, I think, Shahrastani 
appreciated his peculiar attitude — but profoundly imbued 
with the possible beauty of the present world, apart from 
all ulterior speculations, and the everlasting and unendable 
search after the absolute knowledge of truth.^ This trait in his 
individuality led him often into amazing obscurity of metaphor, 
an obscurity, however, that a modern translator resents the 
less when he reflects that it was in most instances the object 
and intention of the poet. His attitude reminds us, as a 
writer in Fraser's Magazine for June, 1870, has observed, of 
the saying of the French philosopher, Royer-Collard, to the 
effect that philosophy is the art of tracing back human ignorance 
to its fountain-head.^ 

A point which strikes one more forcibly than any other 
after studying many hundreds of quatrains composed by, or 
attributed to, him, is, that though the sensuous imagery 
inseparable from Persian belles-lettres is abundantly present 
in his work, it is singularly free from that coarseness — that 
wealth of ignoble illustration and licentious anecdote which 
render practically all Persian poems and romances unsuitable for 
ears polite in an unexpurgated form. “We find in his verses,” 
says Professor Cowell, “a totally different character to that 
which we should naturally have expected from the prevailing 
habit of thought in which he lived. . . . Every other poet of 
Persia has written too much — even her noblest sons of genius 
weary with their prolixity. The language has a fatal facility 
of rhyme, which makes it easier to write in verse than in 
prose, and every author heaps volumes on volumes, until he 
buries himself and his reader beneath their weight. Our 
mathematician is the one solitary exception. He has left 

1. Mr. W. L. Phelps, in an able article in The New Enghmiir 
(New Haven, Conn.), vol. xlix., 1888, draws a scholarly parallel between Omar 
and Schopenhauer. 

2. Vide “ Acaddmie de Paris. Facultd des Lettres. Cours de rHistcire 
'de la Philosophie Moderne. Fremidre ld(on de la troisidme annde." P. F. 
Royer-Collard. 



vm 


Iniroduciion 


fewer lines .than Gray.” Were it not that one instinctively 
recoils from instituting even a passing comparison between 
Omar and the late Mr. Tupper, one would be inclined to write 
him down the Sultan of proverbial philosophers, an attribute 
which is generally enhanced by the want of sequence of idea in- 
separable from the dlwan form of poetic arrangement, in which 
the quatrains follow one another strictly according to the alpha- 
betical sequence of their rhyme-endings and without regard 
to the series of thoughts expressed, or to the pictures evolved. 

A primary difficulty which confronts the student of Omar 
Khayyam is the great difficulty and doubt which exists as to 
which of the ruba’iyat have reached us in a form most nearly 
approaching that in which they left the master’s hand. 
Diligent search in the older cities of Central Asia, where 
Persian is the language, or at least the elegant study of the 
more cultured classes, may bring to light some MS. that may 
fairly be regarded as a “ Codex,” and serve as the point of 
departure for the student. At present the oldest MS. available 
for the student is that of the year a.h. 865 (a.d. 1460), in the 
Bodleian Library at Oxford, which is reproduced by photo- 
graphy, transcribed, and translated in the present volume. It 
was discovered among an uncatalogued mass of Oriental MSS., 
forming the Ouseley collection in 1856 by Professor Cowell, who 
made a transcript of it, which transcript lies before me, and has 
been of the greatest assistance to me in deciphering the MS. 
The original MS. is probably one of the most beautiful 
Persian MSS. of its age^ in existence, and is written upon 
thick yellow paper in purple-black ink, profusely powdered 
with gold. These gold spots have frequently confused the 
workman who made the line-blocks which accompany my 
translation, a further element of difficulty being introduced 
by the fact that the points are often merged into t'he borders, 
and therefore invisible in the line-blocks. My publishers, 
however, have with great liberality had executed for me, in 

1 It is written, according to the Catalogue, in Nasta'Iik ; but I should be 
inclined to describe it as written in a hand midway between Nasta’Iik and 



Introduction 


IX 


addition, a set of half-tone blocks, which the student will fully 
appreciate, as in them all the faint indications of the original 
are reproduced with exact fidelity. The permanence of the 
ink is extraordinary, the only places where it has faded being 
here and there on the borders, and in the formal heading 
(“ and likewise to him”) which appears above each 
quatrain. Internal evidence seems to point to the fact that the 
borders and headings were added afterwards in a different 
ink, which would account for this. The scribe has been 
exceptionally careful in his work, even for a Persian (than 
which praise could hardly go higher^), but, even so, the 
diacritical points are omitted here and there ; these I have 
supplied in the transcript 

Next in order of age among the MSS. come those in the 
Bibliotheque N ationale in Paris, which I have made a point of 
carefully examining before committing these sheets to the 
press. There are three principal MSS., one. No. 349 of the 
“ Ancien Fonds," and two. Nos. 823 and 826 of the Suppl6- 


Shikasta— Nlm-Shikasta. There are three predominant classes or types of hand- 
writing under which it is customary to class oriental MSS. : Naskh, Nasta’lik, 
and Shikasta. Naskh is the equivalent of perfect modern printed characters, 
Nasta‘lik is small and cursive, but beautifully fine in execution, answering to our 
*’ copper-plate " writing, whilst Shikasta (i.e. *' broken ’*) is the current hand in 
which ordinary commercial writing and correspondence is carried on. A far- 
reaching knowledge of the language and all its idioms and inflections is required 
to decipher it, The three types are excellently illustrated in Sir Williain Jones’s 
Grammar. 

1. In no country has the art of caligraphy been carried to so high a point, 
and been so highly honoured as in Persia. Their MSS. are ornamented with 
marvellous miniatures, the paper is powdered with silver and gold, and fre- 
quently perfumed with the most costly essences. (Cf, Fitzgerald’s youth's 
sweet-scented manuscript.") Sir William Jones recorded his opinion that the 
MS* of Yusuf and Zuleika at Oxford (No. i of the Greaves’ collection) is the 
most beautiful MS. in the world. Since he wrote, however, many MSS. of 
equally marvellous beauty have come to light, and copies of the Qur'an are to be 
found in eastern mosques of surpassing workmanship. The learned Fakr-ud-din 
Rasl, speaking of the Khalif Mustassim Billah, can find no higher eulogy than 

He knew the Qur'an by heart, and his handwriting was very beautiful" Some 
of the finest specimens of Persian MSS. in existence are to be found in the 
library of the Asiatic Society in I-ondon, and in the British Museum, where 
some chosen specimens are generally on view in the King^s Library. 

2. As for instance in qq, 20, 50, 99, 112, 130, and elsewhere. 



X 


Introduction 


ment Persan. The first, which is dated a.h. 920 (a.d. i 5 I 4 )> 
is beautifully written in Nasta’lik between blue and gold lines 
and an ornamental heading in red, blue, and gold. It contains 
213 ruba’iyat. The second MS. forms part of a large collection 01 
poems transcribed by the same hand, the terminal leaf of which 
bears the following inscription: “The copying of these quatrains 
was finished by the aid of God and by the excellence of his 
assistance, the fifteenth day of the month of Jumada, the 
second of the year 934 ” (t.e., i6th February, 1528). 

This MS. is written in Nasta’lik between blue ruled borders, 
and presents, like the first cited MS., the peculiarity that the 
ruba’iyat are not in alphabetical or dlwan order. The third 
MS. also forms part of a collection of poems, dated a.h. 937 
(a.d. 1530), written in a neat Nasta’lik, in a Turkish hand 
which is extremely difficult to read. Another MS. in this 
library has been cited, but Mons. Omont, the keeper of the 
Oriental MSS., informs me that it has been missing for many 
years. In addition, there are eight ruba’iyat written in a 
handwriting of the late ninth or early tenth century, A.H., upon 
the blank leaves of a dlwan of Emad which is dated A.H. 920 ; 
six in an eleventh-century handwriting in a collection of poems, 
undated; and thirty-one in a fine MS. of the Atash Kadah of 
Azr dated A.H. 1217 (a.d. 1802), in the colophon of which Azr 
is described as afsdh dl mu’dsirin, “the most eloquent of con- 
temporaries,” indicating that he was then alive. It will be 
observed, therefore, that the Bodleian MS. is not only the 
earliest MS. known, but is one of the very few which are complete 
in themselves, and do not form part of collections in bdydz or 
commonplace books. There are a considerable number of 
later MSS. in various public libraries, in which the number 
of the quatrains is swelled by the addition of a vast number 
which are for the most part either variants of those in the 
earlier MSS., or firank repetitions of one another,^ until 
we arrive at the comparatively modern Cambridge MS., 
in which the ruba’iyat reach the alarming total of 801. 

I. I have found quatrains repeated even in the Paris MS. of a.h. 934 
{e.g., qq. 154 and 172). 



Introduction 


XI 


Of these the most valuable and interesting is, I think, 
the MS. No. 1548 in the Bengal Asiatic Society’s Library 
at Calcutta, and it is especially interesting to English students 
as having been the principal other authority consulted by 
Professor Cowell when writing his article in the Calcutta 
Review, and used by Edward FitzGerald in the construction 
of his poem. Professor Cowell has kindly placed his copy of 
this MS. at my disposal for the purposes of this work. (Vide 
Terminal Essay, p. 296.) At the moment that the first 
edition was leaving the press, I received through the courtesy 
and pains of Mr. A. S. Pringle, Director of Indian Records in 
the Home Department at Calcutta, a copy of a very impor- 
tant MS. once the property of one Maulavi Khuda Baksh 
Khan Bahadur, by whom it had been presented to the public 
library at Bankipur. It forms (as usual) part of a collection 
of literary extracts, written by two Indian scribes in the year 
961 A.H. It contains 604 ruba’iyat, of which 81 are not to 
be found in any of the MSS. and other collections noted in 
my Bibliographical References (p. 115). It will be observed 
therefore that, for its age, this is the largest collection that 
has hitherto been found, and, on account of the large number 
of ruba’iyat not found elsewhere, one of the most important. 
It will also be remarked by the student that, as a general rule, 
the readings of this MS. are identical with those of the 
Bodleian MS., even when all other texts are at variance with 
it, and that the meaning is more clear in this MS. than in 
any other under consideration. There are over 40 ruba’iyat 
in the Bodleian MS. that are not in this MS., so that these 
two alone give us nearly 650 ruba’iyat, of a date not later 
than 1553 A.p. 

Scarcely less important than the MSS. are the litho- 
graphed editions of Teheran, Calcutta, Lucknow, Bombay, 
and Tabriz, firom the first of which Mons. Nicolas made 
his printed text,^ and from the last of which Professor 

1. It would ill-*bes&em me to criticise adversely so valuable and in many 
respects scholarly a work as that of Mons. Nicolas, but it must be admitted that 
the accuracy of his translation, in many places, leaves much to be desired. 
Where the meaning is more than ordinarily obscure, he generally shirks the 



Introduction 


xii 


Schuchovsky, of St. Petersburg, made his lithographed 
edition.^ These will be found duly noted in the Biblio- 
graphical References (p. 115), and in the Bibliography 
(p. 281). For the European student the text and translation 
of Mons. Nicolas is probably the best, though as a text 
alone, that of Mr. Whinfield, issued by Messrs. Triibner in 
1883, is unsurpassed. This text Mr. Whinfield framed from 
a comparison of the Bodleian, the Calcutta, and the two 
India Office MSS., the Calcutta and Lucknow lithographs, 
and the printed editions of MM. Blochmann and Nicolas, 
It may seem churlish to look so valuable a text in the foot- 
notes (so to speak), but regard being had to the very great 
diversities existing in the various texts, it is a great pity 
that Mr. Whinfield did not pursue a system of numbering 
the quatrains in his authorities, and so save the conscientious 
student a world of troublesome labour,® A very interesting 
collection of quatrains attributed to Omar is included in that 
pantheon of Persian poetry, the Atash Kadah of Hajji Lutf 
Ali Beg of Isfahan, known as Azr, a collection numbering 
thirty-one quatrains, of which ten are represented in the 


translation and merely gives the intention of the original, and the assistance that 
Mr. McCarthy would seem, from internal evidence, to have derived from Mons. 
Nicolas’s translation, has caused the same observation to be applicable to his prose 
rendering. Mons. Nicolas was essentially a Sufi, and dragged in Sufistic interpre- 
tations wherever he could, attributing a mystic or divine interpretation to Omar’s 
most obviously materialistic passages, by way of apology for the '* sensualite 
quelquefois r§voltante,” which has passed into a proverb among students of Omar. 
Edward FitzGerald dealt at length with this amiable weakness (if one may so call 
it) in the preface to his second and subsequent editions. The reader is referred 
to Nicolas’s note 5 on p. 105, note 5 on p. 143, note i on p. 170, note 4 on p. 171, 
and note 2 on p. 183 of his translation, to quote only five out of a great number of 
such notes. The two last refer to qq. 128 and 137 of the Bodleian quatrains. 



Ul ..I 

sr*'i jo — cjjUst 


2. It must be borne in mind that in the MSS. and lithographs the 
ruba'iyat are never numbered, and when in the course of this volume I refer to 
them by numbers, it must be understood that I am referring to numbers I have 
myself affixed in my copies to simplify the work of reference. Thus, therefore, 
if Mr. Whinfield had numbered his Lucknow lithograph (for instance) his 
numbers would differ from mine, as I have used a later edition, containing more 
ruba’iyat than his. 



Introduction 


xiii 


Bodleian MS.^ and twenty-one are of different, and probably 
later, origin.® The Paris MS. of this work has already been 
referred to. Azr was not born until a.d. 1722, and his 
"new” quatrains are as a whole very inferior to those in 
this MS. Everything, therefore, seems to point to the fact 
that the quatrains have been multiplied in every succeeding 
MS. by unscrupulous scribes, who boldly repeated quatrains, 
with or without slight variations, in view of the fact that they 
were probably paid “by the piece”; by religious objectors, who 
either altered quatrains to suit their own views, or added new 
ones to answer quatrains to which they especially objected; 
and by editors who have sought to give their work the im- 
portance of mere bulk. 

Thus Mr. Wh infield’s copy of the Lucknow lithograph, 
printed in 1868, contains 716 quatrains, th'e'edition of 1878 con- 
tains 763, and my own copy, a re-issue lithographed in 1894, 
contains 770. Mrs. Jessie E. Cadeljj who made the quatrains 
of Omar Khayyam a principal study of her regrettably short 
life, and published the results of her labours in Fraser’s 
Magazine (May, 1879), collated all the authorities to be found 
in public libraries in Europe, and found over twelve hundred 
distinct quatrains attributed to him. I have attempted a 
catalogue of authorities available to the student in the Biblio- 
graphical Appendix. Passons outre. 


A history of this poem in its most widely accepted 
European dress must necessarily partake largely of the nature 
of a Bibliographical Essay, which would take us beyond 
the purpose of an Introduction. A few words on the subject 
are, however, permissible in this place. The first Persian 
scholar to introduce Omar Kha37^i,m to European readers was 

t. These are Nos. 9, 47, TJ, 6s, i, 103, 102, 109, 136, and 135. For fear 
of overburdening my work with variant readings I have not compared these with 
the Bodleian MS. quatrains in the following pages. 

2. The editions of 18O0 and 1881, lithographed by Fath-al-Kirim, at 
Bombay, contain 42 quatrains, of which 13 are represented in the Bodleian MS. 
The extra ii quatrains are evidently recently added to the collection. 




XIV 


Introduction 


Dr. Thomas Hyde, Regius Professor of Hebrew and Arabic at 
Oxford, who, in his '‘Veterum Persarum et Parthorum, et 
Medorum religionis historia” (Oxford, 1700, 2nd edition, 1760), 
recounts the story of the apparition of Omar, after his death, 
to his mother, and his recital of the well-known quatrain to 
her (vide post, note to q. i). The first to make an extended 
study of the quatrains was Von Hammer-Purgstall, who, in 
his “ Geschichte der schonen Redekiinste Persiens" (Vienna, 
1818), gave verse- translations of twenty-five quatrains, but 
does not state from what MS. he translated. Friedrich 
Riickert, who died in 1866, included two quatrains in his 

Perser’’ (published at 
Gotha in 1874), 3-nd S h Gore Ouseley . gave the same number 
in his “ Biographical^Notices^of Persian Poets (London, 
1846), one of which was q, 89, post. Save for the pamphlet 
in which Garcin de Tassy, in 1857, forestalled FitzGerald, from 
materials derived from him, this brings us to the time when 
Omar was taken in hand by Professor Cowell and Edward 
FitzGerald. 

It will not, I think, be uninteresting to gather from the 
letters written by Edward FitzGerald to his friends, and 
recently published by Messrs. Macmillan,^ his own account of 
the Persian studies that culminated in the production of 
the poem by which, it may fairly be said, the Ruba’iyat of 
Omar Kha3^am became known to European readers.^ In 
1845 it is clear that he had no leaning towards oriental sub- 
jects; indeed, in a letter to Frederick Tennyson (6th February, 
1845) he says : 


I. Letters of Edward FitzGerald ” (edited by W. Aldis Wright). 
(Macmillan), 1894. 2 vols. Extracted from L. R. 


London 


tiir ■ ^ ^ place, to record my sincere thanks to Mr. Aldis 

right Md Messrs. Macmillan for their permission, readily granted me, to 
re^nt the following voluminous extracts from their publication. Their edition 
ot FitzGerald’s works, referred to throughout this work as “ L. R..” is indispensable 
to the studtot of the poem, for all FitzGerald's work was more or less tinged 
by his studies of Omar Khayyam. 



Introduction 


XV 


Eliot Warburton has written an Oriental book.^ Ye Gods I 
In Shakespeare’s day the nuisance was the Monsieur Travellers 
who had “ swum in a gundello,” but now the bores are those who 
have smoked Tschihouqms with a Peshaw ! 

Early in 1846, however, we find him writing to his friend 
E. B. Cowell (now Professor of Sanskrit at the University of 
Cambridge) : 

Your is fine;® and his tavern world is a sad and just 

idea. ... It would be a good work to give us some of the good 
things of Hafi^: and the Persians; of bulbuls and ghuls we have 
had enough. 

Two years later he writes to Cowell (25th January, 1848) : 

Ten years ago I might have been vext to see you striding 
along in Sanskrit and Persian so fast; reading so much; remem- 
bering all; writing about it so well. But now I am glad to see 
any man do anything well, and I know that it is my vocation to 
stand and wait and know within myself whether it is well done. 

In answer to some queries about FitzGerald’s early Persian 
studies, Professor Cowell writes me as follows (21st October, 
1896) : 

Edward P'itzGerald began to read Persian with me in 1853 ; he 
read Jones’s Grammar,^ which exactly suited him, as its examples of 
the values are always beautiful lines of poetry from Hafia, Sadi, &c, 

FitzGerald himself records the matter in his Letters, thus, 
to Cowell (25th October, 1853) : 

I have ordered Eastwick’s Gulistan;* for I believe I shall 
potter out so much Persian. The weak Apologue goes on,® for I 
have not had time for much here,® and I find it difficult enough 
even with Jones’s Translation. 

X. '*The Crescent and the Cross, or Romance and Realities of Eastern 
Travel." London, 1B45, 2 vols. i2mo. 

2. This refers to certain translations of selected Odes of Hafiz, by 
Cowell, which he sent t6 FitzGerald to read. They were subsequently incor- 
porated by him in an article upon Hafiz, and published anonymously in 
Fmtf's Magazine for September, 1854. 

3. A Grammar of the Persian Language," by Sir William Jones. London, 
177X. 7th edition, London, 1809. 

4. An early edition of the translation cited in the Bibliographical Re- 
ferences (p. 115). 

5. '*The Gardener and the Nightingale " in Sir William Jones’s Persian 
Grammar, 

6. Richmond, Surrey. 



XVI 


Introduction 


Later (27th December, 1853) he writes to F, Tennyson : 

I also amuse myself with poking out some Persian which 
E. Cowell would inaugurate me with; I go on with it because it is 
a point in common with him and enables us to study a little together. 

After mastering the rudiments, FitzGerald first addressed 
himself seriously to Jami’s poem of Salaman and Absal ; 
Professor Cowell tells me [loc, cit ,) : 

I read Jamfs Salaman and Absal with him at Oxford in 
1S54 and *55, which he translated and published in 1856. J. W. 
Parker and Son were the publishers.^ The Life of Jami appeared 
in that volume. 

Accordingly, we find FitzGerald writing to Cowell in 1853, 
in reply to a letter concerning Hafiz: 

Any such translation of such a writer as by you into 

pure, sweet and partially measured prose 2 must be better than 
what I am doing for Jami, whose ingenuous prattle I am stilting 
into too Miltonic verse. This I am very sure of. But it is done. 

In the earliest days of 1856 the translation of Salaman 
and Absal was for practical purposes complete, and FitzGerald 
writes to Cowell : 

I send you a sketch of Jami’s Life, which cut, correct and 
annotate as you like. Where there was so little to tell, I have 
brought in all the fine names and extra bits I could to give it a 
little sparkle. There is very little after all ; I have spread it over 
paper to give you room to note upon it. Only take care not to 
lose either these or yesterday’s papers, for my terror at going over 
the ground. 

You must put in the corrected Notice about the Sultan 
Hussein, both in the Memoir and in the Note to the Poem. The 
latter will have room for at least four (I think five) lines of note 
type, which you must fill, and not overflow : “ Strong without 
rage,” etc. 

I feel guilty at taking up your time and thoughts, and also at 
dressing myself so in your plumes. But I mean to say a word about 
this, (jxovavra truveToitrtv, in my Preliminary Notice; and would 
gladly dedicate the little book to you by name, with due acknow- 
ledgment, did I think the world would take it for a compliment to 
you. But though I like the version, and you like it, we know very 

1. ‘‘ Salaman and Absal. an Allegory.” Translated from the Persian of 
Jami. London, 1856. A reprint of this edition was made in 1871 by Cowell 
and Sons, of Ipswich. The original was printed by Messrs. Childs, of Bungay. 

2. This evidently refers to the article upon Hafiz cited in note 2, p. xv, 



Introduction 


xvii 


well the world— even the very little world, I mean, who will see it— 
may not; and might laugh at us both for any such compliment. 
They cannot laugh at your scholarship ; but they might laugh at 
the use I put it to, and at my dedicating a cobweb (as Carlyle 
called Maud the other night) to you. 

FitzGerald was evidently desirous of seeing his first 
oriental translation in print, for a few days later (loth 
February, 1856) he writes further to Cowell, as follows: 

I sent you a string of questions about Salamiin last week, all 
of which I did not want you to answer at once, but wishing at 
least to hear if you had leisure and inclination to meddle with 
them. There is no reason in the world you should, unless you 
really have time and liking. If you have, I will send you the 
proofs of the little book which Mr. Childs is even now putting in 
hand. Pray let me know as soon as you can what, and how 
much, of this will be agreeable to you. 

You don’t tell me how Hafiz gets on. There is one thing 
which I think I find in SalamCln which may be worth your con- 
sideration (not needing much) in Hafiz : namely, in Translation to 
retain the original Persian names as much as possible — Shah ” 
for “ King,” for instance, ** Ydsuf and Suleyman” for “Joseph and 
Solomon,” etc. The Persian is not only more musical, but removes 
such words and names further from Europe and European preju- 
dices and associations. So also I think best to talk of “ a moon ” 
rather than “a month,” and perhaps “sennight” is better than 
“ week.” 

This is a little matter, but it is well to rub off as little Oriental 
colour as possible. 

As to a notice of J ami’s Life, you need not trouble yourself to 
draw it up unless you like, since I can make an extract of 
Ouseley’s,^ and send you for any addition or correction you like. 

This is the notice of Jaml’s life referred to by Professor 
Cowell in his letter to me. It was immediately after the pub- 
lication of the Salaman and Absal in 1856 that Mr. Cowell 
was appointed Professor of History at the Presidency College 
in Calcutta, whither he went in August, 1856. In a letter 
written to him (22nd January, 1857) FitzGerald says : 

I have read really little except Persian since you went; and 
yet, from want of eyes, not very much of that. I have gone care- 
fully over two-thirds of Hifiz again with Dictionary and Von 

1. Sir Gore Ouseley. “ Bibliographical Notices of the Persian Poets." 

London, 184C. P. 131, No. g, “ Jaml." 

G 



XVlll 


Introduction 


Hammer;^ and gone on with Jami and Nizami. But my great 
performance all Hes in the last live weeks since I have been alone 
here; when I wrote to Napoleon Newton® to ask him to lend me 
his MS. of Attar’s Mantic nt tair; and, with the help of Garcin de 
Tassy, have nearly made out about two-thirds of it. For it has 
greatly interested me, though I confess it is always an old story. 


On the I2th March, 1857, FitzGerald writes to Cowell: 

To-day I have been writing twenty pages of a metrical sketch 
of the Mantic, for such uses as I told you of. It is an amusement 
to me to take what liberties I like with these Persians, who (as I 
think) are not poets enough to frighten one from such excursions, 
and who really do want a little art to shape them. I don’t speak 
of Jelaleddin,® whom I know so little of (enough to show me that 
he is no great artist, however), nor of Hafiz, whose best is untrans- 
latable, because he is the best musician of words. Old Johnson 
said the poets were the best preservers of a language; for people 
must go to the original to relish them, I am sure that what 
Tennyson said to you is true: that Hafiz is the most Eastern— or, 
he should have said most Persian— of the Persians. He is the 
best representative of their character, whether his Saki and Wine 
be real or mystical. Their religion and philosophy is soon seen 
through, and always seems to me cuckooed over like a borrowed 
thing, which people, once having got, don’t know how to parade 
enough. To be sure their Roses and Nightingales are repeated 
enough; but Hafiz and old Omar Khayyam ring like true metal 
The philosophy of the latter is, alas i one that never fails in the 
world. “ To-day is ours,” etc. 

While I think of it, why is the sea (in that Apologue of Attdr 
once quoted by Falconer) supposed to have lost God ? Did the 
Persians agree with something I remember in Plato about the sea 
and all in it being an inferior nature? in spite of Homer’s “ Divine 
Ocean,” etc. 

This idea appears to have struck FitzGerald so much that 
he introduced it into the 33rd stanza of his Omar. Professor 
Cowell, -writing on the subject to Mr. Aldis Wright, says : 

1. Joseph von Hammer, ‘‘Der Diwan von Mohammed Schemsed-din 
Hafis” . . .iibersetzt von J.von H. Stuttgart, 1812, 2 vols. i2mo. 

2. Vide note i, p. xxvi., post. The influence which this study of the 
Mantik ut tair had upon Fitzgerald's paraphrase of the ruba’iyat will be seen 
in the notes to the translation 

3. More than one critic has called attention to the fact that so careful a 
scholar as FitzGerald should have given this mistransliteration of the name of 
Jalal-ud-din Ruml. 



Introduction 


XIX 


I well remember showing it to Fitzgerald, and reading it with 
him in his early Persian days at Oxford in 1855. I laughed at the 
quaintness; but the idea seized his imagination from the first, and 
like Virgil with Ennius’s rough jewels, his genius detected gold 
where I had only seen tinsel. He has made two grand lines out of it.^ 

FitzGerald’s correspondence with Garcin de Tassy would 
appear to have commenced about this period, and on the 
29th March, 1857, he writes to Cowell, in a letter referring 
to other oriental translations : 

Well; and I have had a note from Garcin de Tassy, whom I 
had asked if he knew of any copy of Omar Khayyam in all the 
Paris libraries ; he writes : “ I have made by means of a friend,” 
etc. But I shall enclose his note to amuse you. N ow what I mean 
to do is, in return for his politeness to me, to copy out as well as 
I can the Tetrastichs as you copied them for me, and send them 
as a present to De Tassy. Perhaps he will edit them. I should not 
wish him to do so if there were any chance of your ever doing it ; 
but I don’t think you will help on the old Pantheist, and De Tassy 
really, after what he is doing for the Mantic, deserves to make the 
acquaintance of this remarkable little fellow. Indeed, I think 
you will be pleased that I should do this. Now for some more 
iEschylus. 

Friday^ April lyth , — I have been for the last five days with my 
brother at Twickenham; during which time I really copied out 
Omar Khayyam, in a way I and shall to-day post it as a “ cadeau” 
to Garcin de Tassy in return for his courtesy to me. I am afraid 
a bad return; for my MS. is but badly written, and it would 
perhaps more plague than profit an English ^‘savant” to have 
such a present made him. But a Frenchman gets over all this 
very lightly. Garcin de Tassy tells me he has printed four 
thousand lines of the Mantic. 

/ 

And in a letter enclosed in this one for Mrs. Cowell, 
he says: 

You may give him (t.«, E. B. C.) the enclosed instead of a 
former letter from the same G. de T. For is it not odd he should 
not have time to read a dozen of those 150 tetrastichs ? I pointed 
out such a dozen to him of the best, and told him if he liked them, 
I would try and get the rest better written for him than I could 
write. I had also told him that the whole thing came from 
E. B C., and I now write to tell him I have no sort of intention of 

I, The first two lines of F. v. 33. 

c — 2 



XX 


Introduction 


writing a paper in the Journal Asiatiquct'^ nor I suppose E. B. C. 
neither ; G. de Tassy is very civil to me, however. 

Wednesday, April Z2nd , — Now this morning comes a second 
letter from Garcin de Tassy, saying that his first note about Omar 
Khayyam was “in haste,” that he had read some of the tetrastichs, 
which he finds not very difficult — some difficulties which are pro- 
bably errors of the “ copist ” ; and he proposes his writing an 
article in the Journal Asiatique on it, in which he will “honourably 
mention” E. B. C. and E. F. G. I now write to deprecate all 
this, putting it on the ground (and a fair one) that we do not 
yet know enough of the matter; that I do not wish E. B. C. to be 
made answerable for errors which E. F. G. (the “copist”) may 
have made; and that E. F. G. neither merits nor desires any 
honourable mention as a Persian scholar, being none.® 

In the following month (7th May, 1857) he writes to 
Cowell : 

To-day I have a note from the great De Tassy, which an- 
nounces: “ My dear Sir, — Definitively I have written a little paper 
upon Omar, with some quotations taken here and there at random, 
avoiding only the too badly-sounding Rubaiyat. I have read that 
paper before the Persian Ambassador and suite, at a meeting of 
the Oriental Society, of which I am Vice-President, the Due de 
Doudeauville being President. The Ambassador has been much 
pleased with my quotations.” So you see I have done the part of an 
ill subject in helping France to ingratiate herself with Persia when 
England might have had the start. I suppose it probable Ferukh 
Khan himself had never read or perhaps heard of Omar. I think 
I told you in my last that I had desired De Tassy to say nothing 
about you in any paper he should write ; since I cannot have you 
answerable for any blunders I may have made in my copy, nor 
may you care to be named with Omar at all. I hope the French- 
man will attend to my desire ; and I dare say he will, as he will 
then have all credit to himself. He says he cannot make out the 
metre of the Rubaiyat at all, never could, though “ I am enough 
skilful in scanning the Persian verses, as you have seen” (Qy.) “in 
my Prosody of the Languages of Mussulman Countries,” etc. So 
much for De Tassy. 

And in a continuation of the above letter, dated June 5th, 
FitzGerald says : 

1, The Journal of the (London) Asiatic Society is here referred to;' not 
the Journal Asiatique of the Paris Society, in which De Tassy's “ Note’’ was subse- 
quently published, Vid^ the Bibliographical References (p. 115). 

2. Accordingly, in G. de Tassy’s pamphlet and article (vide Bibliography) 
there is no mention of E. B. C. or E, F. G., the discovery of the Ruba'iyat in the 
Bodleian appearing to be De Tassy’s own. 



Introduction 


XXI’ 


When in Bedfordshire, I put away almost all books, except 
Omar Khayyam, which I could not help looking over in a paddock 
covered with buttercups and brushed by a delicious breeze, while 
a dainty racing filly of W. Browne’s came startling up to wonder 
and sniff about me. “Tempus est quo Orientis, Aura mundus 
renovatur, Quo de fonte pluviali, dulcis Imber reseratur; Musi- 
mams undecumque ramos insuper splendescit, J&su-spiritusqm 
salutaris terram pervagatur,”^ which is to be read as Monkish 
Latin, like “Dies Irae,” etc., retaining the Italian value of the 
vowels, not the classical. You will think me a perfectly Aristo- 
phanic old man when I tell you how many of Omar I could not 
help running into such bad Latin.^ I should not confide such 
follies but to you,, who won’t think them so, and who will be pleased 
at least with my still harping on our old studies. You would be 
sorry, too, to think that Omar breathes a sort of consolation to mel 
Poor fellow; I think of him and Oliver Basselin* and Anacreon; 
lighter shadows among the shades, perhaps, over which Lucretius 
presides so grimly. 

Thursday^ Jime nth . — ^Your letter of April is come to hand, very 
welcome; and I am expecting the MS. Omar, which I have written 
about to London.^ And now with respect to your proposed Fraser 
Paper on Omar. You see, a few lines back, I talk of some lazy 
Latin versions of his Tetrastichs, giving one clumsy example. Now 
I shall rub up a few more of those I have sketched in the same 
manner, in order to see if you approve. 

The letter breaks off abruptly at this point, but is con- 
tinued on the 23rd of June: 

Jum z^rd . — I begin another letter because I am looking into 
the Omar MS. you have sent me, and shall perhaps make some 
notes and enquiries as I go on. I had not intended to do so till I 
had looked all over and tried to make out what I could of it; since 
it is both pleasant to oneself to find out for oneself if possible, and 


1. Vide Ruba’i No. 13, post. 

2. Mr. Herbert W. Greene, of Magdalen College, Oxford, has completed 
this task, and turned FitzGerald's Omar into a most elegant and charming 
volume of elegiacs, privately printed for him . — Vids the Bibliography (No. 94). 

3. An apt illustration of the extent and breadth of FitzGerald’s reading. 
Many of Omar’s quatrains must have reminded him of Olivier Basselin's line 
(Vaux de Vire, xvii,), “ L^s morts ne boivent plus dedans la sepulture." I am 
surprised that the analogy between Omar and Herrick never seems to have 
struck FitzGerald. Compare with this, for instance, Herrick’s " Anacreontike " 
(Hesperides) : 

Born I was to be old, But before that day comes. 

And for to die here : Still I be Bousing ; 

After that, in the mould For 1 know, in the Tombs 

Long for to lye here. There's no Carousing. 

Several such analogies are cited in the notes to the quatrains. 

4. The copy of the MS. in the Bengal Asiatic Society’s Library at Calcutta 
to which I have referred above. 



XXll 


Introduction 


also saves trouble lo oiie*s friends. But yet it will keep me talking 
with you as I go along; and if I find I say silly things or clear up 
difficulties for myself before I close my letter (which has a month 
to be open ini), why, I can cancel or amend, so as you will see the 
whole process of blunder. I think this MS. furnishes some oppor- 
tunities for one’s critical faculties, and so is a good exercise for 
them, if one wanted suchl ... I must also tell you that Borrow ^ 
is greatly delighted with your MS. of Omar, which I showed him; 
delighted at the terseness, so unusual in Oriental verse. But his 
eyes are apt to cloud; and his wife has been obliged, he tells me, 
to carry off even the little Omar out of reach of them for a while. 

On July 1st he adds: 

July ist , — ^June over 1 A thing I think of with Omar like sorrow. 
And the roses here are blowing — and going — as abundantly as even 
in Persia. I am still at Geldestone, and still looking at Omar by 
an open window, which gives over a greener landscape than yours. 

His letters to Cowell at this period largely partake of the 
nature of journals. On July 13th, 1857, he writes : 

By to-morrow I shall have finished my first Physiognomy of 
Omar, whom I decidedly prefer to any Persian I have yet seen, 
unless perhaps Salaman. 

Tu&sdayf July i/^fL — Here is the anniversary of our Adieu at 
Rushmere. And I have been (rather hastily) getting to an end of 
my first survey of the Calcutta Omar by way of counterpart to our 
joint survey of the Ouseley MS. then (on the 14th July). I must 
repeat, I am sure this Calcutta Omar is, in the same proportion 
with the Ouseley, by as good a hand as the Ouseley; by as good a 
hand, if not Omar’s; which I think you seemed to doubt if it was 
in one of your letters. 

Have I previously asked you to observe 486 ? of which I send 
a poor Sir W. Jones’ sort of Parody, which came into my mind 
walking in the garden here, where the rose is blowing as in Persia. 
And with this poor little envoy my letter shall end. I will not stop 
to make the verse better. 

I long for wine I oh Saki of my soul. 

Prepare thy song and fill the morning bowl. 

For this first summer month that brings the rose, 

Takes many a Sultan with it as it goes.® 

1. I do not know that George Borrow ever published any translations from 
the Persian beyond three odes in the *• Targuin,” pp. 5-6. He printed privately 
150 copies of a literal translation of the Jokes of the Hhwaja Nasr ed d!n Kfendi, 
under the title The Turkish Jester, or the Pleasantries of Cogia Nasr ed din 
Effendi, translated from the Turkish by George Borrow." Ipswich, 18S4. 
W, Webber. 

2. Suggested by ruba'iyat which are Nos. 118 and 135 in the Bodleian 
MS. The Calcutta MS. contains ruba’iyat much closer to E. F. G.’s verse, 
which became No. 8 in Fitzgerald’s first edition, F. v. g. 



Inirodtiction 


xxui 


During the summer and autumn of 1857, FitzGerald would 
appear to have finished the first draft of his translation, and in 
a letter, written to Cowell on the 8th December, 1857, says : 

I have left with Borrow the copy of the Mantic DeTassy gave 
me ; so some days ago I bought another copy of Norgate. For you 
must know I had again taken up my rough sketch of a translation 
which, such as it is, might easily be finished. But it is in truth no 
translation, but only the paraphrase of a syllabus of the poem;* 
quite unlike the original in style, too. But it would give, I think, 
a fair proportionate account of the scheme of the poem. If ever I 
finish it, I will send it you. Well, then, in turning this over, I also 
turned over volume i. of Sprenger’s Catalogue, “ which I bought 
by itself for 6s. a year ago. As it contains all the Persian MSS., 

I supposed that would be enough for me. I have been looking at 
his list of Attar’s Poems. What a number 1 All, almost, much 
made up of Apologms^ in which Attar excels, I think. His stories 
are better than Jami’s; to be sure, he gives more to pick out of. 
An interesting thing in the Mantic is the stories about Mahmfid, 
and these are the best in the book. I find I have got seven or 
eight in my brief extract. I see Sprenger says Attar was born in 
513, four years before poor Omar Khayyam died I He mentions 
one of Attar’s books, “The Book of Union,” Waslat namah, which 
seems to be on the very subject of the Apologue to the Peacock’s 
Brag in the Mantic, line 814 in De Tassy. I suppose this is no 
more the orthodox Mussulman version than it is ours. Sprenger 
also mentions as one separate book what is part of the Mantic, 
and main part, the Haftwady. Sprenger says (p. 350) how the 
MSS. of Attar differ from one another. 

And now about old Omar. You talked of sending a paper 
about him to Frasty^ and I told you, if you did, I would stop it till 
I had made my comments. I suppose you have not had time to 
do what you proposed; or are you overcome with the flood of bad 
Latin I poured upon you? Well, don’t be surprised (vexed you 
won’t be) if I solicit Fraser for room for a few quatrains in 
English verse, however, with only such an introduction as you 
and Sprenger give me — ^very short — so as to leave you to say all 
that is scholarly, if you will. I hope this is not very cavalier of 
me. But, in truth, I take old Omar rather more as my property 
than yours; he and I arc more akin, are we not? You see all 
fhis] Beauty, but you don’t feel with him in some respects as I do. 
I think you would almost feel obliged to leave out the part of 

X. This is as terse a description as cpuld well be given of his poem, 
the Ruba'iyat of Omar. 

a. Vide fost^ Bibliographical References (p. 115), sub S. 



XXIV 


Introdiiction 


Hamlet in representing him to your audience, for fear of mischief. 
Now I do not wish to show Hamlet at his maddest ; but mad he 
must be shown, or he is no Hamlet at all. G. de Tassy eluded all 
that was dangerous, and all that was characteristic. I think these 
free opinions are less dangerous in an old Mahometan or an old 
Roman (like Lucretius) than when they are returned to by those 
who have lived on happier food. I don’t know what you will say 
to all this. However, I dare say it won’t matter whether I do the 
paper or not, for I don’t believe they’ll put it in.^ . . . 

I must, however, while I think of it, again notice to you about 
those first Introductory Quatrains to Omar in both the copies you 
have seen, taken out of their alphabetical place, if they be Omar’s 
own, evidently by way of putting a good leg foremost — or perhaps 
not his at all. So that which Sprenger says begins the Oude MS. 
is, manifestly, not any Apology of Omar’s own, but a Denunciation 
of him by someone else; and is a sort of parody (in form at least) 
of Omar’s own quatrain 445,® with its indignant reply by the Sultan,® 

In January he sent the manuscript to his publisher, and 
later again to Parker, and on the 3rd September, 1858, he says 
to Cowell : 

I have not turned to Persian since the spring, but shall one 
day look back to it, and renew my attack on the “ Seven Castles,” 
if that be the name.^ I found the Jam! MS. at Rushmere; and 
there left it for the present, as the other poem will be enough for 
me for my first onslaught, I believe I will do a little a day, so as 
not to lose what little knowledge I had. As to my Omar, I gave 
it to Parker in January, I think; he saying Fraser was agreeable 
to take it. Since then I have heard no more; so as, I suppose, 
they don’t care about it; and may be quite right. Had I thought 
that they would be so long, however, I would have copied it out 
and sent it to you and I will still do so from a rough and imperfect 
copy I have (though not now at hand), in case they show no signs 
of printing me. My translation will interest you from its form, and 
also in many respects in its detail, very unliteral as it is. Many 
quatrains are mashed together and something lost, I doubt, of 
Omar’s simplicity, which is so much a virtue in him.® But there 

1. This anticipation, as will presently be seen, was realised. 

2. In the Calcutta MS. 

3. These are the two quatrains Nos. 316 and 317 of Nicolas's text. 

4. The seven castles of Bahram Gur alluded to by FitzGerald in his note 
upon that hero. They were made the subject of a well-known poetical romance, 
the Haft Paikar of Nizami, which is the work alluded to in the above letter. 

5. Professor Cowell, writing to me under date 31st December, 1896, says : 
" You will be able to decide whether his first translation was made from the 
Oxford MS. 07 Uy» by seeing whether that will account for all the tetrastichs. 
He altered and added, but he never* I fancy, invented an entire tetrastich of 
his own." 



Introduction 


XXV 


it is, such as it is. I purposely said in the very short notice I 
prefixed to the poem that it was so short because better infor- 
mation might be furnished in another paper which I thought you 
would undertake. So it rests. 

And on the 2nd November he writes again to Cowell: 

As to Omar, I hear and see nothing of it in Fraser yet ; and 
so I suppose they don’t want it. I told Parker he might find it 
rather dangerous among his Divines; he took it, however, and 
keeps it. I really think I shall take it back; add some stanzas, 
which I kept out for fear of being too strong; print fifty copies 
and give away; one to you, who won’t like it neither. Yet it is 
most ingeniously tesselated into a sort of Epicurean eclogue in 
a Persian garden. 

On the 13th January, 1859, he writes to Cowell: 

I am almost ashamed to write to you, so much have I forsaken 
Persian, and even all good books of late. There is no one now to 
“prick the sides of my intent”; vaulting ambition having long 
failed to do so ! I took my Omar from Fraser [? Parker] , as I saw 
he didn’t care for it; and also I want to enlarge it to near as much 
again of such matter as he would not dare to put in Fraser. If I 
print it, I shall do the impudence of quoting your account of 
Omar, and your apology for his freethinking ; it is not wholly my 
apology, but you introduced him to me, and your excuse extends 
to that which you have not ventured to quote, and I do. I like 
your apology extremely also, allowing its point of view. I doubt 
you will repent of ever having showed me the book, I should like 
well to have the lithograph copy of Omar which you tell of in 
your note.^ My translation has its merit, but it misses a main one 
in Omar, which I will leave you to find out. The Latin versions, 
if they were corrected into decent Latin, would be very much 
better. ... I have forgotten to write out for you a little quatrain 
which Binning found written in Persepolis ; the Persian tourists 
having the same propensity as English to write their names and 
sentiments on their national monuments. This is the quatrain ; 

The palace that to Heav’n his pillars threw, 

And kings the forehead on his threshold drew — 

I saw the solitary ring-dove there, 

And “ Coo, COD, coo,” she cried, and “Coo, coo, coo.”® 

And on the 27th of April, having printed his Quatrains,® 
he wrote to Cowell : 

1. The Calcutta edition of 1836. 

2. Viie Robert B. M. Binning, *‘A Journal of Two Years' Travel in 
Persia, Ceylon, etc." I-ondon, 1857, vol. ii„ p. 20. 

3. The copy in the Library of the British Museum was received there 
on the 30th March, 1859. 



XXVI 


Introduction 


I sent you poor old Omar, who has his kind of consolation for 
all these things. I doubt you will regret you ever introduced him 
to me. And yet you would have me print the original, with many 
worse things than I have translated. The Bird Epic might be 
finished at once;^ but cui bono? No one cares for such things, 
and there are doubtless so many better things to care about. I 
hardly know why I print any of these things, which nobody buys ; 
and I scarce now see the few I give them to. But when one has 
done one’s best, and is sure that that best is better than so many 
will take pains to do, though far from the best that might be done, 
one likes to make an end of the matter by print. I suppose very 
few people have ever taken such pains in translation as I have, 
though certainly not to be literal. But at all cost, a thing must 
live, with a transfusion of one’s own worse life if one can’t retain the 
originals better. Better a live sparrow than a stuffed eagle. I shall 
be very well pleased to see the new MS. of Omar. 

He evidently did not look upon this as the last word 
to be said on the subject of Omar, for on the 7th December, 
1861, we find him writing to Cowell: 

I shall look directly for the passages in Omar and Hafi:r which 
you refer to and clear up, though I scarce ever see the Persian 
character now. I suppose you would think it a dangerous thing 
to edit Omar; else, who so proper? Nay, are you not the only 
man to do it? And he certainly is worth good re-editing. I 
thought him from the first the most remarkable of the Persian 
poets, and you keep finding out in him evidences of logical fancy 

I. This was never printed in FitzGerald’s lifetime. It occupies pp. 433- 
482 of vol. ii. of the ‘‘Letters and Literary Remains." The following note by 
Professor Cowell is prefixed to it : •' FitzGerald was first interested in ' Attar’s 
Mantik-ut-tair ’ by the extracts given in De Sacy’s notes to his edition of that 
poet’s Pand-namah, and in 1856 he began to read the original in a MS. lent to 
him by Mr. Newton of Hertford. In 1857, Garcin de Tassy published his edition 
of the Persian text, of which he had previously given an analysis in his ' La 
Poesie philosophique et religieuse chez les Persans ’ ; and FitzGerald at once 
threw himself into the study of it with all his characteristic enthusiasm. 
De Tassy subsequently published, in 1863 ► a French prose translation 
of the poem; but the previous analysis was, I believe, FitzGerald's only 
help in mastering the difficulties of the original. Pie often wrote to me in 
India, describing the pleasure he found in his new discovery, and he used to 
mention how the more striking apologues were gradually shaping themselves into 
verse, as he thought them over in his lonely walks. At last, in x86z, he sent me 
the following translation, intending at first to offer it for publication in the 
Journal of tht Bengal Asiatic Sodefyf but he soon felt that it was too free a 
version for the pages of a scientific journal. He then talked of publishing it by 
itself, but the project never assumed a definite shape, though 1 often urged him 
to print the ' Bird Parliament ' as a sequel to the ' SalamEn.’ " 



Introduction 


xxvii 


which I had not dreamed of. I dare say these logical riddles are 
not his best, but they are yet evidences of a strength of mind 
which our Persian friends rarely exhibit, I think, I always said 
about Cowley, Donne, etc., whom Johnson calls the metaphysical 
poets, that their very quibbles of fancy showed a power of logic 
which Could follow fancy through such remote analogies. This is 
the case with Calderon’s conceits also.^ I doubt I have given 
, but a very one-sided version of Omar; but what I do only comes 
up as a bubble to the surface and breaks; whereas you, with 
exact scholarship, might make a lasting impression of such an 
author. 

And writing to Prof. W. H. Thompson, who subsequently 
became Master of Trinity, he says: 

As to my own peccadilloes in verse, which never pretend to 
be original, this is the story of Rubaiyat. I have translated them 
partly for Cowell; young Parker asked me some years ago for 
something for Fraser, and I gave him the less wicked of these 
to use if he chose. He kept them for two years without using; 
and as I saw he didn’t want them I printed some copies with 
Quaritch; and, keeping some for myself, gave him the rest. 
Cowell, to whom I sent a copy, was naturally alarmed at it; 
he being a very religious man; nor have I given any other copy 
but to George Borrow, to whom I' had once lent the Persian, 
and to old Donne when he was down here the other day, to 
whom I was showing a passage in another book which brdught 
my old Omar up. 

Omar drops out of his correspondence from this point 
until the 28th December, 1867, when he writes to Cowell: 

I don’t think I told you about Garcin de Tassy. He sent 
me (as no doubt he sent you) his annual Oration.® I wrote to 
thank him ; and said I had been lately busy with another country- 
man of his, Mons. Nicolas, with his Omar Kha3!7am. On which 
De Tassy writes back by return of post to ask ^‘Where I got 
my copy of Nicolas? He had not been able to get one in all 
Paris 1 ” So I wrote to Quaritch, who told me the book was to 
be had of Maisonneuve, or any Oriental bookseller in Paris; but 

I. FitzGerald’s first translations from Calderon were published in 1853, 
under the title " Six Dramas from Calderon.” They were badly received by the 
Press ; the Athenaum, in particular, attacked the work so violently that he with- 
drew them from circulation, and destroyed the whole edition. They are reprinted 
in exUnso in vol. ii. of the Letters and Literary Remains.” 

z. As Professor of Oriental Languages in the Institut de France. There is 
a Eecueil Factice of these in the British Museum containing his annual orations 
from 1853 to 1869. 



xxviii Introduction 

that probably the shopman did not understand when “Les 
Rubaiyat d’Omar,” etc., were asked for, that it meant *‘Les 
Quatrains,” etc. This (which I doubt not is the solution of the 
mystery) I wrote to Garcin, at the same time offering one of my 
two copies. By return of post comes a frank acceptance of one 
of the copies, and his own translation of Attar’s Birds by way 
of equivalent. ... At p. 256, Translation (v, 4620), I read, 
“ Lorsque Nizdm ul-Mulk fut k I’agonie, il dit: ‘O mon Dieu! je 
m’en vais entre les mains du vent.’” Here is our Omar in his 
friend’s mouth, is it not?^ 

In September, 1863, Mr. Ruskin addressed a letter to 
^‘The Translator of the Rubaiyat of Omar,” which he en- 
trusted to Mrs. Burne Jones, who, after an interval of nearly 
ten years, handed it to Charles Eliot Norton, Professor of 
the History of Fine Art in Harvard University.^ By him 
it was transmitted to Carlyle, who sent it to FitzGerald, with 
the letter which follows, of which the signature alone is in 
his own handwriting ; 

Chelsea, 14^/^ Aprils 1873. 

Dear FitzGerald, — Mr. Norton, the writer of that note, is 
a distinguished American (co-Editor for a long time of the North 
American Review) y an extremely amiable, intelligent and worthy 
man, with whom I had some pleasant walks, dialogues and other 
communications of late months, in the course of which he brought 
to my knowledge, for the first time, your notable Omar Khayyam, 
and insisted on giving me a copy from the third edition, which I 
now possess, and duly prize. From him, too, by careful cross- 
questioning, I identified beyond dispute the hidden “ FitzGerald,” 
the translator ; and, indeed, found that his complete silence and 
unique modesty in regard to said meritorious and successtul per- 
formance was simply a feature of my own Edward F. 1 The 
translation is excellent; the book itself a kind of a jewel in its way. 
I do Norton’s mission without the least delay, as you perceive. 
Ruskin’s message to you passes through my hands sealed. I am 
ever your affectionate 

T. Carlyle. 

At the same time Carlyle wrote to Prof. Norton : 

5 Cheyne Row, Chelsea, ^ 
iSth April, 1873. 

Dear Norton, — It is possible FitzGerald may have written to 
you; but whether or not, I will send you his letter to myself, as a 

r. Vide note 2 to Ruba'i No. 121, post. 

2. Vide the Bibliography, No. 71. 



Introduction 


XXIX 


slight emblem and memorial o£ the peaceable, affectionate, and 
ultra-modest man, and his innocent far nienU life, and the con- 
nection (were there nothing more) of Omar, the Mahometan 
Blackguard, and Oliver Cromwell, the English Puritan, dis- 
charging you completely, at the same time, from ever returning 
me this letter, or taking any notice of it, except a small silent one. 

The following was enclosed: 

15^/1 April, 1873. 

My DEAR Carlyle, — ^Thank you for enclosing Mr. Norton’s 
letter, and will you thank him for his enclosure of Mr. Ruskin’s ? 
It is lucky for both R, and me that you did not read his note ; a 
sudden fit of fancy, I suppose, which he is subject to. But as it 
was kindly meant on his part, I have written to thank him. Rather 
late in the day, for his letter (which Mr. Norton thinks may have 
lain a year or two in his friend’s desk) is dated September, 1863, . . . 

P.S. — Perhaps I had belter write a word of thanks to 
Mr. Norton myself, which I will do, I suppose he may be 
found at the address he gives. 

Accordingly, he wrote to Prof, Norton: 

WoODBRiDGE, lyth April, 1873. 

Dear Sir, — ^Two days ago Mr. Carlyle sent me your note, 
enclosing ono from Mr. Ruskin “to the Translator of Omar 
Khayyam.’’ You will be a little surprised to hear that Mr. 
Ruskin’s note is dated September, 1863; all but ten years ago I 
I dare say he has forgotten all about it long before this. How- 
ever, I write him a note of thanks for the good, too good, messages 
he sent me; hotter late than never; supposing that he will not be 
startled, and bored by my acknowledgments of a forgotten favour 
rather than gratified. It is really a funny little episode in the 
ten years’ dream. I had asked Carlyle to thank you also for 
such trouble as yon have taken in the matter. But as your 
note to him carries your address, I think I may as well thank 
yon for myself. I am very glad to gather from your note that 
Carlyle is well, and able to walk, as well as talk, with a congenial 
companion. Indeed, he speaks of such agreeable conversation 
with you in the message he appends to your letter. For which, 
thanking you once more, allow me to write myself, yours sincerely, 

Edward FitzGerald. 

After this we hear nothing further of Omar from FiteGerald 
until the ist March, 1882, w'hen he writes to Mr. Schiltz 
Wilson' the following letter: 


I. Vide the Bibliography, No. 75. 



XXX 


Introduction 


ist Maroh, 1882. 

My DEAR Sir, — I must thank you sincerely for your thoughts 
about Saltoan, in which I recognise a good will towards the 
Translator as well as Hking for his work. 

Of course, your praise could not but help that on; but I scarce 
think that it is of a kind to profit so far by any review as to make 
it worth the expense of time and talent you might bestow upon it. 
In Omar’s case it was different ; he sang in an acceptable way, it 
seems, of what all men feel in their hearts, but had not had 
exprest in verse before. Jami tells of what everybody knows, 
under cover of a not very skilful allegory. I have undoubtedly 
improved the whole by boiling it down to about a quarter of its 
original size, and there are many pretty things in it, though the 
blank verse is too Miltonic for Oriental style. 

All this considered, why did I ever meddle with it ? Why, it was 
the first Persian poem I read, with my friend Edward Cowell, near 
on forty years ago ; and I was so well pleased with it then (and now 
think it almost the best of the Persian poems I have read or heard 
about), that I published my version of it in 1856 (I think) with 
Parker, of the Strand. When Parker disappeared, my unsold 
copies, many more than of the sold, were returned to me ; some ot 
which,ifnDtall, I gave to little Quaritch, who, I believe, trumpeted 
them off to some little profit, and I thought no more of them.^ 

But some six or seven years ago that Sheikh of mine, Edward 
Cowell, who liked the version better than anyone else, wished it 
to be reprinted. So I took it in hand, boiled it down to three- 
fourths of what it originally was, and (as you see) clapt it on the 
back of Omar, where I still believed it would hang somewhat of a 
dead weight ; but that was Quaritch’s look out, not mine. I have 
never heard of any notice taken of it, but just now from you ; and 
I believe that, say what you would, people would rather have the 
old sinner alone. Therefore it is that I write all this to you. I 
doubt not that any of your editors would accept an article from 
you on the subject, but I believe also they would much prefer one 
on many another subject; and so probably with the public whom 
you write for. 

Thus “liberavi animam meam” for your behoof, as I am 
rightly bound to do in return for your goodwill to me. 

As to the publication of my name, I believe I could well 
dispense with it, were it other and better than it is. But I have 
some unpleasant associations with it; not the least of them being 
that it was borne, Christian and surname, by a man who left 
college just when I went there. . . . What has become of him 
I know not; but he, among other causes, has made me dislike 
my name, and made me sign myself (half in fun, of course) to 
my Mends, as now I do to you, sincerely yours, 

(The Laird of) Littlegrange, 

where I date from, 

I. It is strange that FitzGerald makes no allusion here to the reprint of 
the first edition made by Cowell and Sons, of Ipswich, in 1871. 



Introduction 


XXXI 


The FitzGerald referred to in this letter was Edward 
Marlborough FitzGerald, who, I am informed, achieved some 
notoriety in unenviable directions. To this correspondence 
with Mr. Schiitz Wilson the year before his death he refers in 
two of his letters to Fanny Kemble^ in the terms following: 

February, 1882. 

Mr. Schiitz Wilson, a litterateur en general, I believe, wrote 
up Omar Khayyam some years ago, and I dare say somewhat 
hastened another (and so far as I am concerned) final edition. 

March, 1882. 

Not content with having formerly appraised that Omar in 
a way that, I dare say, advanced him to another edition, he 
(S. W.) now writes me that he feels moved to write in favour 
of another Persian who now accompanies Omar in his last 
Avatar. I have told him plainly that he had better not employ 
time and talent on what I do not think he will ever persuade 
the public to care about, but he thinks he will. He may very 
likely cool upon it; but in the meanwhile such are his good 
intentions, not only to the little poem, but, I believe, to myself 
also — ^personally unknown as we are to one another. 

Such is the history, as recorded by its author, of the 
Poem which of late years has become in a manner the 
gospel of a cult. 


So many eminent scholars, poets and essayists have given 
to the world critical essays and appreciations, having for their 
theme this poem of Edward FitzGerald’s, that were I to add 
"a further discourse on the subject I should be adding an item 
of little or no value to the mass of analytical criticism. One 
aspect of the poem I may, however, be allowed to consider, 
on the ground that I have an intimate acquaintance with the 
original in general and with FitzGerald’s sources of inspiration 
in particular ; and that is its claim to consideration as a 
translation.® A translation pure and simple it is not, but a 
translation in the most artistic sense of the term it undoubtedly 
is. In considering this question it is necessary to bear in mind 

1. " Letter of Edward FitzGerald to Fanny Kemble, 1871-1883,” edited by 
William Aldis Wright. London (Bentley), 1895. 

2. My researches upon this subject are embodied in the Terminal Essay 
to this edition, p. 288. 



XXXll 


Introduction 


the first and the second editions of the poem, for these were 
written under the direct inspiration of the original Persian,^ 
The first edition was written from the Bodleian MS. and 
the transcript of the Calcutta MS.; the second— but it 
will profit us to read FitzGerald's own words from the 
preface to the second (1868) edition: ''While the present 
edition of Omar was preparing, Mons. Nicolas, French 
Consul at Rescht, published a very careful and a very good 
edition of the text, from a lithograph copy at Teheran, 
comprising 464 ruba’iyat, with translation and notes of his 
own. Mons* Nicolas’s edition has reminded me of several 
things, and instructed me in others. . . In this second 
edition FitzGerald expanded his original seventy-five quatrains 
to one hundred and ten, nine of which were suppressed in the 
third and subsequent editions. The method of construction 
adopted by FitzGerald must be borne in mind. I assumed at one 
time that he had made a more or less literal prose translation of 
his originals, and, after steeping himself in these, wrote his poem ; 
and I suggested this theory to Professor Cowell. He writes me 
under date 8th July, 1897 : " I am quite sure that Mr. Fitz- 
Gerald did not make a literal prose version first ; he was too 
fond of getting the strong, vivid impression of the original as 
a whole. He pondered this over and over afterwards, and 

I. Dr. Talcott Williams, the eminent Arabic scholar, writing to Mr. 
Nathan H. Dole (vol. i. of N. H. Dole's edition, p. 123), observes: "In 
my judgment Omar owes more to FitzGerald than he does to himself, as far as 
English readers are concerned, I do not mean by this that Omar’s thought 
differs with the utterances of FitzGerald’s translation, but the utterance owes so 
much in our language to the form in which FitzGerald has cast it, that I have 
always felt, in the few quatrains which I have laboriously translated, that pretty 
much everything had evaporated when the thought was tahen out of FitzGerald's 
setting. The truth is, in literature, form is everything. Everybody has the 
same ideas, I fancy, and it is only the capacity for expression which mahes 
literature. ... I really cannot exaggerate the difference between native and 
.European knowledge of an oriental language. We generally know their formal 
'grammar, history and derivatives of their tongues especially, a hundredfold 
better than they do ; but when it comes to the meaning of a particular passage, 
we are simply nowhere. It is a simple and soul-humbling truth that the first 
translation or two of almost any Oriental work is full of the wildest shot.” The 
student who undertakes the translation of any Persian author speedily realises 
that not to Sa’adi alone might be applied the well-known Eastern saying, " Each 
word of Sa’adi has seventy-two meanings.” 



Introduction 


XXXlll 


altered it in his lonely walks, sometimes approximating nearer 
to the original, and often diverging further. He was always 
aiming at some strong and worthy equivalent ; verbal accuracy 
he disregarded.” Professor Cowell has honoured me with a 
good deal of information on this matter of FitzGerald’s 
methods, supplementing the information contained in Fitz- 
Gerald’s own letters reproduced above. I will quote some of 
this information at once: 

zxsi October, 1896. — In 1856 I found the MS. of ’Omar 
Khayyam in the Bodleian and made a copy for him, which I sent 
him just before I went to India in August of that year. He sent a 
transcript of that copy to Garcin de Tassy. ... I reviewed Omar 
Khayyam in the Calcutta Review in 1858. ... I made a French 
edition of one of Kha3ryam’s mathematical works my ‘text.’ 
FitzGerald alludes to my article in his preface. ... He read the 
“ Parliament of Birds ” in a MS. directly I left England, and sent me 
his account of it, and subsequently his verse translation. Garcin 
de Tassy published his text and translation in 1858 and ’59, and 
this FitzGerald used for his revised translation, published after 
his death.i , . . 

z^rd October, 1896. — ^The MS. in the Ouseley collection was 
the only MS. I then (1856) knew — all the MSS. were then un- 
catalogued. My copy is dated “ May 31st, 1856. Bodleian 
Library.” I had never seen a MS. of the quatrains, so it was a 
real “find 1” . . , 

zgth October, 1896, — I have the copy of the Oxford MS. 
which I sent to E. F, G., but it is too sacred a legacy to be lent to 
anyone® — it is filled with his notes as well as with letters of mine 
to him from Calcutta. . . , 

^ist December, i8g6. — I got a copy made for him from 
the one MS. in the Bengal Asiatic Society’s Library at Calcutta 
soon after I arrived in November, 1856, It reached FitzGerald, 
June 14th, 1857, as I learn by a note in his writing. Some time 
after this I sent him a copy of that rare Calcutta printed edition,® 
which I got from my Munshi. I had just got it when I wrote my 
article in the Calcutta Review, which was mainly compiled from 
the two texts of the Calcutta and Oxford manuscrij>ts. . . . You 
will be able to decide whether his first translation was made from 
the Oxford MS. only, by seeing whether that will account for all 
the tetrastichs. He altered and added, but he never, I fancy, 
invented an entire tetrastich of his own. ... I feel persuaded 

1. Vide note i, p. xxvi. 

2. 1 had asked Professor Cowell to lend me this. 

3. The Calcutta lithograph of 1836. 



XXXIV 


Introduction 


that his first translation was compiled from the Oxford and 
Calcutta MSS. combined. You will find tetrastichs from the 
latter represented in his translation which have no parallel in the 
brief Oxford MS. ... I have no MS. copy of his translation. 
That was all done after I had left England. He used to send me 
questions by letter. . . . 

I desire to record in this place my profound gratitude to 
Professor Cowell for all this most interesting information, 
which he alone is competent to give ex cathedra- To return, 
in the light of these extracts, to the question of how far 
Edward FitzGerald may be called the translator of the Quatrains 
of Omar Khayyam, Professor Charles Eliot Norton, in the 
North American Review (October, 1869), says: “He is to be 
called ^ translator ’ only in default of a better word, one which 
should express the poetic transfusion of a poetic spirit from 
one language to another, and the re-representation of the 
ideas and images of the original in a form not altogether 
diverse from their own, but perfectly adapted to the new 
conditions of time, place, custom, and habit of mind in which 
they reappear. It has all the merit of a remarkable original 
production, and its excellence is the highest testimony that 
could be given to the essential impressiveness and worth of 
, the Persian poet. It is the work of a poet inspired by the 
work of a poet ; not a copy, but a reproduction ; not a trans- 
lation, but the re-delivery of a poetic inspiration ... in its 
English dress it reads like the latest and freshest expression 
of the perplexity and of the doubt of the generation to which 
we ourselves belong.” 

The opposition in the debate, if I may so call it, is sup- 
ported by Mr. H. G. Keene in an article written for Macmillan^s 
Magazine (N ovember, 1887). Reviewing FitzGerald’s paraphrase, 
'he says: “This unique and beautiful poem does not in truth 
;'show the real Khayyam. Unquestionably among the fine 
things in modern English verse, these quatrains give no 
accurate representation of the original in any of their versions ; 
as indeed the variations of successive editions do themselves 



Introduction 


XXXV 


tend to show. ... In FitzGerald ... of the flighty Persian 
freethinker, eclectic and unsystematic, we see little or 
nothing.” The want of system here described as lacking 
in FitzGerald's poem is explained for the orientalist by the 
exigencies of the dTwan form in which Omar’s quatrains have 
for the most part been preserved and published. It is beyond the 
function of criticism from the standpoint of accurate rendering to 
brand FitzGerald’s compulsory marshalling and re-organisation 
of his material with the stigma of inaccuracy. After presenting 
us with some renderings of the original into English verse — 
renderings, by-the-way, far above the average of such achieve- 
ments, both as to manner and translation — Mr. Keene says: 

It is difficult to explain by isolated specimens FitzGerald’s 
deviations from his original, because his variation is general 
and total. The difference between him and Khayyam is the 
same as that between a group ot epigrams and a long satire*” 
The essayist then illustrates by quoting two out of the four 
quatrains (F. v. 78-81), in which FitzGerald has summed up 
the philosophy of the whole poem, and appends a literal prose 
translation of two out of the twenty or thirty quatrains of 
the original that contain the inspiration of those four 
verses. It is unfair to make this juxtaposition and to imply 
that FitzGerald intended his two verses as translations of the 
two originals given. During the twelve years that I have 
been working at the subject, it has interested me to note 
wherever I found a line in the Bodleian or in the Calcutta MSS. 
that could be distinctly pointed out as “the original” of a 
line of FitzGerald. A very few emendations were taken by him, 
as he himself says, for his second and subsequent editions, 
from the text of Nicolas, and at some future time I propose 
to print an edition of FitzGerald’s quatrains, giving the 
original, or inspiration, of every quatrain, if not 01 every 
individual line. The reader of the following pages will be 
able to judge for himself how close to the originals whole 
quatrains of FitzGerald’s poem really are. 



XXXVl 


Introduction 


Whilst these pages have been passing through the press I 
have been following up the clue afforded by Professor Cowell’s 
observations [vide p. xviii. and xix.) as to the origin of the 
distich beginning Earth could not answer, nor the seas that 
mourn,” and FitzGerald’s own quotation of the dying utter- 
ances of Nizam ul Mulk from the Mantik ut tair of Ferld 
ud din Attar, and I have made the discovery that most, if not 
all of FitzGerald’s lines which have baffled students of the 
ruba’iyat of Omar Khayyam, are taken from that poem, which 
FitzGerald had deeply studied immediately before he addressed 
himself to his Omar, (Vide note i, p. xxvi.) These parallels 
I propose to set forth in another place for the present, 
suffice it to say that I have found in the Mantik ut tair 
the originals of the quatrain beginning Oh Thou 1 who man 
of baser earth didst make,” and that beginning, Heaven but 
the Vision of fulfilled desire,” and many other quatrains and 
isolated lines. A number of these parallels are indicated in 
the notes accompanying the text {vide post). 

The faults, if faults they be, which Mr. Keene attributes 
to FitzGerald, are necessarily inseparable from any verse trans- 
lation, the exigencies of rhyme and metre compelling a distor- 
tion of the translated lines. These faults are abundantly 
manifest in the verse translations of Mr. Keene himself. Mr, 
Whinfield has observed : Omar is a poet who can hardly be 
translated satisfactorily otherwise than in verse. , . , The 
successor of a translator like Mr. FitzGerald, who ventures to 
write verse, and especially verse of the metre which he has 
handled with such success, cannot help feeling at almost every 
step that he is provoking comparisons very much to his own 
disadvantage. But I do not think this consideration ought to 
deter him from using the vehicle which everything else indi- 
cates as the proper one.” Even admitting this contention, 
one cannot help regretting that Mr. Whinfield did not also 
give us the literal prose translation he may be assumed to 
have made in the first instance; a comparison of the literal 

I. Vid& the Terminal Essay to this edition, p. 2SS. 



Introduction 


xxxvii 


translations comprised in the present volume with his verse 
renderings of the same quatrains, will, I think, abundantly 
justify this regret, from the point of view of the mere student. 
It is next door to impossible to imitate in English the prevail- 
ing metre of the ruba’iyat: Mr. Michael Kerney, the anon3nnous 
editor of the American reprint of FitzGerald’s collected works 
(Boston, 1887), has attempted it in his notes to the quatrains, 
with a result which must be seen to be believed. One 
enthusiastic student of the ruba’iyat, however, has handled 
the metre of the original with grace and felicity, and that is 
Mr. Nathan H. Dole, editor of the Boston Variorum Edition 
of 1896, in his own introductory “ruba’iyat”; these contain 
the true lilt of the original without resorting to verbal quirks 
that jar upon the occidental ear. Of verse translations, the best 
I have seen are those of Professor C. J. Pickering, in the 
National Review for December, 1890.^ 

A few words in conclusion, by way of apology for my 
own work. It does not aim at being an edition of the 
Ruba’iyat of Omar Kha}ryam in general, but it is an attempt 
to place before English readers a literal translation of the oldest 
known MS. of the quatrains, and an exposition of the most 
important section of the material used by FitzGerald in the 
construction of his poem. In the case of the majority of 
the quatrains the task is not an especially difficult one, but 
in the case of the residual minority, the obscurity of the 
original has made the work one of the greatest doubt and 
anxiety. Such, for instance, are qq. 14, 19, 30, 50, 57, 
98, 104, 106, 113, 142 — quatrains in which the correct rendering 
of almost every individual line is highly debateable.® 

Later scribes and editors have made bold emendations, 
and these I have diligently marshalled, with the result that I 
have, decided to supplement and, where possible, elucidate the 
readings of the Bodleian MS. by reference to the following texts : 

1. The reader or critic who feels curious to know to what extent a trans- 
lation can be abused is referred to the Spectator, vol. Ixiii., p. 215 (Aug. 17, 1889). 

2. Viilc note i, p, xxxii. 



XXXVlll 


lntrodtcctio 7 i 


1 . The MS. No. 1458 in the Bengal Asiatic Society’s 
Library at Calcutta. It is a i2mo containing 49 leaves. It 
has 9 ruba’iyat on each leaf, and 87 further ruba’iyat are 
written upon the margins. Page b of leaf i contains a prose 
preface ending with the anecdote of Omar’s apparition to his 
mother, which leads to the opening ruba’i of the MS. quoted in 
the note to q. impost. 

la. The Bankipur MS. described at p. xi. 

2. The Lucknow lithographed edition. My copy, referred 
to as L. in the notes to this text, is one of the edition of a.h. 
1312 (a.d. 1894), containing 770 quatrains. 

3. The text printed opposite to his prose translation by 
Mons. Nicolas. Taken from the edition lithographed in 
Teheran in a.h. 1278 (a.d. 1861).^ 

4. The text lithographed in St. Petersburg in 1888, taken 
from the Tabriz edition of a.h. 1285 (a.d. 1868). It is identical 
with the text of Mons. Nicolas, excepting that it contains one 
ruba’i (No. 48) not in Nicolas, and does not contain the Nos. 35, 
190, 316, 317, 363, 390, 439, and the concluding five ruba’iyat, 
which are out of their dlwan order at the end of that text. 

' 5. The Paris MS. before referred to, containing 346 
ruba’iyat, and dated a.h. 934 (a.d. 1538).^ 

6, The Bombay lithographed edition of a.h. 1297 (a.d. 
1880), containing 756 ruba’iyat. 

7. The text printed by Mr. Whinfield, described elsewhere. 

1. Dr. Hieu, in his Catalogue of the Persian MSS. in the British Museumi 
states that Nicolas’s text is that of Sanjar Mirza, lithographed at Teheran in 
A.H. 1278, with a few additional ruba’iyat from other sources. 

2. The copy of the Paris MS. of a.h. 934 which I have had made 
for me only reached me when these sheets were almost ready for the printer. 
The first edition was. in fact, kept back in order that the information to be found 
in so important a MS. might be included. My copy was unfortunately made by 
hand instead of by photography, and contains clerical errors ; still, it is clear 
that nearly all the Bodleian ruba'iyat are to be found in it, and that where this is 
the case the readings are in the majority of cases identical. The haste in which 
I compared this Paris MS. with this and the other texts may have caused me to 
overlook some few references that might have been added, had it been in my 
hands during the years that these notes have been in course of preparation. 



Introduction 


xxxix 


I have also consulted, for the elucidation of obscure 
readings, but have not collated all through, or given cross- 
references to, the following : 

8. The MS. in the British Museum, Or. 330. 

g. The MS. in the British Museum, Add. 27,318. 

10. The Calcutta lithographed edition of 1836. 

11. A collection of ruba’iyat by Omar Khayyam, Baba 
Tahir, and Attar, lithographed at Teheran- in 1857. 

12. The 41 quatrains contained in the Atash Kadah of 
Azr, described elsewhere (p. xiii. and note 2). 

13. The Paris MS. of a.h. 920 (a.d. 1514). 

14. The Paris MS. of a.h. 937 (a.d. 1530). 

I have also noted, where necessary, the translations of 
Nicolas, Whinfield, Cowell, and Garcin de Tassy. 

It will therefore be observed that when it would appear 
from the notes to my text that a ruba’i is " only to be found in the 
Bodleian MS.,” it must be borne in mind that I have actually 
searched for it only among the 4,415 ruba’iyat comprised in the 
first eight of the texts above referred to. 

The exigences of time, space, my reader’s patience, and 
my publisher’s pocket have made me, with some regret I own, 
but, I think, with advantage to my book, omit a vast mass 
of references to other ruba’iyat, not identical with, but more 
or less closely corresponding to, ruba’iyat that are contained 
in this MS. The inclusion of these would have swelled my 
notes far beyond the dimensions of the whole work as it stands. 
The curious who care to see what they have been spared 
may make the following comparisons between this text and 
that of Mons. Nicolas alone. They are picked at random 
from several hundred reference^: 

Compare Bodleian MS. q. 2rx\vith Nicolas’s text, q. 117 

zg „ » 177 

34 » »» 168-9 





xl 


Introduction 


Compare Bodleian MS. q. 85 with Nicolas’s text, q. 191 
,, a ,, ,, II5 

i ) n ^27 >> 

„ „ 129 „ „ 72 

>) 39 139 f* 

In like manner, when referring to parallel passages from 
other authors, I have only given the originals (in the Persian 
notes) in the cases where there exist printed or lithographed 
texts available for reference and easily obtainable. It seems 
a grievous thing to refer the student to an isolated MS. in 
the British Museum or elsewhere, and I have avoided doing 
so, but it naay be observed that my quotations from the 
Beharistan are taken from the British Museum MSS., Add. 
18,579 and 7,775. I do not think that the most exacting 
critic will blame me for transposing the order of the pages 
of the original MS. ; to have arranged them to read backwards, 
according to oriental custom, would have savoured of pedantry. 

Most translators of oriental works have given elaborate 
explanations of the system they have adopted in transliterating 
Persian words. It is pitiable that no universal system has 
been established, for the diversities to be found in all trans- 
literations are confusing in the extreme. One finds this even 
in the name Khayyam, which will be found transliterated in 
the Bibliography (p. 281) Khaiam, Khaiyam, Chiam, Chajjam, 
etc., etc. I have adopted the expedient of noting only strong 
vowel sounds represented in the original by Alif, Waw, and 
Ye, giving always a supplementary note of the actual Persian 
where I have been compelled to transliterate. Edward 
FitzGerald crystallized (so to speak) for all time the trans- 
literation ruba’iyat,” a transliteration which I would fain 
see fall into disuse and thence into oblivion. The word 
ruba’i is common to more than one oriental language, and 
is correctly translated “ quatrain.” Between the letters of 
the first part of the word “ruba” and the terminal 4 , or -y, 
occurs the purely oriental letter ^ = soft gh, as in our word 



Introdticiion 


xli 


high,” as opposed to the ^ = hard gA, as in our word 
ghost,” the terminal -at being an artificial form of Persian 
plural borrowed from the Arabic, in which language it is 
the regular plural termination of feminine nouns. If, there- 
fore, it be desired to retain this Persian word in the title 
of an English translation (a pedantry which would be deemed 
inexcusable were it to occur in such a title as, for instance, 
'‘The Gedichte of Henry Heine”), it seems a pity that the 
transliteration ‘‘rubagAyat,” which conveys an idea of the 
rich sonority of the original, should not be adopted 

in place of the spiritless and thin rendering “ ruba’iyat,” even 
with the gh indicated as is usual by an inverted comma. I 
have, however, taken counsel with Professor Cowell, Mr. Whin- 
field and Dr. Ross, and they warn me earnestly against dis- 
turbing an accepted rendering, and point out that my suggestion 
would involve similarly transliterating the which commences 
the name ‘‘Omar” (or, as some purists have it, ^Umar), and 
reading it “ GAomar,” which would offend widely spread 
susceptibilities. It is also difficult to pronounce this gh with- 
out giving it the value of the thick {grassiye) continental r. 
I have, therefore, avoided attempting this innovation. 

Finally, let me acknowledge the sympathetic assistance 
that I have received in preparing these sheets for the press 
from Professor Cowell, who placed his MSS. at my disposal, 
and thereby greatly lightened my labours ; from Mr. Whinfield, 
who has favoured me with his valuable opinion upon some 
of the most obscurely-worded quatrains; and from Professor 
E. Denison Ross, who has taken a keen interest in my work, 
even to the point of going through the whole with me line by 
line and note by note, and without whose help I should even 
now have hesitated to give the result of my labours to the world. 

As regards the actual translation of the quatrains, it has 
been my endeavour to give a literal rendering of the original 
line for line, either in the translation proper or in the accom- 
panying notes, and in this I have been very greatly assisted by 



xlii 


Iniroduction 


Mr. Barry Pain, who has gone through it with me and helped 
me to turn the intricate Persian construction of the lines into 
English, a task for which one is entirely unfitted after being 
steeped, as I had been during the preparation of this volume 
for the press, in the involved phrasing of the original. The 
arrangement of the quatrains upon the pages of the MS., 
a bait, a ruba’i, and another bait on each, being very awk- 
ward for the English reader, and the translation being much 
confused by note-references, I have inserted between this In- 
troduction and the text accompanied by the translation and 
the facsimiles, etc., a clean copy of the English only, for the 
convenience of readers who wish to gather a general impres- 
sion of the whole poem, without going into the minutiae dealt 
with in the notes. It must, however, be borne in mind by 
those who read this English translation, that the nature of 
the original is such that in many places it is quite incompre-* 
hensible witljout reference to the notes which accompany 
the text, conclusion, I cannot do better than quote the 
concluding distich of the edition from which the Kama Shastra 
Society’s translation of the Gulistan was made : 

Gratitude is due that this book is ended 

Before my life has reached its termination.^ 

London, April, 1898. 

I. The originals of these lines will be found on p. 287. They are taken 
from a text of the Gulistan lithographed in Bombay in 1875, The Editor remarks, 
in a marginal note, that he has never seen them in any MS. other than that from 
which his text was taken, and Mr. Ellis consulted a quantity of MSS. and texts 
of the Gulistan at the British Museum before he found them for me in the 1875 
lithograph. 



ENGLISH TRANSLATION 




QUATRAINS OF OMAR KHAYYAM 

(OusELY MS., 140, Bodleian Library, Oxford) 


Note. — Words printed in italics are not, properly speaking, repre- 
sented in the Persian text, hut are inserted for the purpose of 
converting Oriental into Occidental forms of phraseology. 


1. 

If I have never threaded the pearl of Thy service, 

and if I have never wiped the dust of sin from my face; 

nevertheless, I am not hopeless of Thy mercy, 

for the reason that I have never said that One was Two. 

2. 

If I talk of the mystery with Thee in a tavern, 
it is better than if I make my devotions before the Mihrab 
without Thee. 

O Thou, the first and last of all created beings ! 
burn me an Thou wilt, or cherish me an Thou wilt. 


3 * 

So far as in thee lies, reproach not drunkards, 

lay thou aside pretence and imposture; 

if, henceforth, thou desirest rest from this life of thine, 

do not for a moment shun humble folk. 

4 - 

So far as in thee lies, cause no pain to anyone, 
nor cause anyone to suffer from thy wrath; 
if thou hast a desire for eternal peace, 
fret thyself always and harass no one. 


I 



2 


Ruba'iyat of Omar Khayyam 


5 - 

Since no one will guarantee thee a to-morrow, 
make thou happy now this love-sick heart; 
drink wine in the moonlight, O Moon, for the moon 
shall seek us long and shall not find us. 

6 . 

The Qur’an, which men call the Supreme Word, 
they read at intervals but not continually, 
hut on the lines upon the goblet a text is engraved 
which they read at all times and in all places. 


7 - 

Here are we ; and so is the wine, and the drinking bench ; 
and the ruined furnace ; 

careless of hopes of mercy, and of fears of punishment ; 
our souls, and our hearts, and our goblets, and our garments 
full of the lees of wine, 

independent of earth and air, and fire and water. 


8 . 

In this life it is best that thou shouldst make but few friends ; 
distant intercourse with one’s fellow men is good; 
that person upon whom thou leanest entirely, 
when thou examinest him closely, he is thine enemy. 

9 - 

This jug was once a plaintive lover as I am, 

and was in pursuit of one of comely face ; 

this handle that thou seest upon its neck 

is an arm that once lay around the neck of a friend. 


10 . 

Ah, woe to that heart in which there is no passion, 
which is not spell-bound by the love of a heart-cheerer ! 
the day that thou spendest without love, 
there is no day more useless to thee than that day. 



English Translation 


3 


II. 

To-day being the season of my youth, 

I desire wine, for thence comes my happiness; 
reproach me not, even though acrid it is pleasant; 
it is acrid in that it represents my life. 


12 . 

Thou hast no power to-day over the morrow, 
and anxiety about the morrow ht:^gs ihe^ only melancholy ; 
waste not thou this moment if thy heart be not mad, 
for the value of the remainder of this life is not manifest. 


13 - 

Now that there is a possibility of happiness for the world, 
every living heart has yearnings towards the desert, 
upon every bough is the appearance of Moses’ hand, 
in every breeze is the exhalation of Jesus’ breath. 

14- 

For him for whom the fruit ot the branch of truth has not grown, 
the reason is that he is not firm in the Road. 

Every one has feebly shaken with his hand the bough oj 
truth. 

Know that to-day is like yesterday, and that to-morrow is like 
the First Day of Creation* 

15 - 

Already on the Day of Creation beyond the heavens my soul 
searched for the Tablet and Pen and for heaven and hell; 
at last the Teacher said to me with His enlightened judgment, 
‘‘Tablet and Pen, and heaven and hell, are within thyself,” 


16. 

Arise and give me wine — ^what time is this for words? 

for to-night thy little mouth fills all my needs ; 

give me wine, rose-coloured as thy cheeks, 

for this penitence of mine is as full of tangles as thy curls, 

I — 2 



4 


Ruba’iyat of Omar Khayyam 


17- 

The spring breeze blows sweetly upon the face of the rose, 
in the shade of the garden plot a darling’s face is sweet ; 
nothing thou canst say of yesterday that is past, is sweet, 
be happy and do not speak of yesterday, for to-day is sweet. 

i8. 

How long shall I throw bricks upon the surface of the sea ? 

I am disgusted with the idol-worshippers of the pagoda. 
Kha 3 ^am ! who can say that he will be a denizen of hell, 
who ever went to hell, and who ever came from heaven ? 


19. 

The elements of a cup which he has put together, 
their breaking up a drinker cannot approve, 
all these heads and delicate feet — ^with his finger-tips, 
for love of whom did he make them ? — for hate of whom did 
he break them ? 


20. 

Like water in a great river and like wind m the desert, 
another day passes out of the period of my existence; 
grief has never lingered in my mind — concerning two days, 
the day that has not yet come and the day that is past. 


21. 

Seeing that my coming was not tor me the Day of Creation, 
and that my undesired departure hmce is a purpose fixed for me, 
get up and gird well thy loins, 0 nimble Cup-bearer, 
for I will wash down the misery of the world in wine. 


22. 

Kha 3 y^am, who stitched at the tents of wisdom, 
fell into the furnace of sorrow and was suddenly burnt ; 
the shears of doom cut the tent-rope of his existence, 
and the broker of hope sold him for a mere song. 



English Translation 


5 


23- 

Khayyam, why mourn thus for thy sins? 

from grieving thus what advantage, more or less, dost thou gain? 
Mercy was never for him who sins not, 
mercy is granted for sins — ^why then grieve? 


24. 

In cell, and college, and monastery, and synagogue 
are those who fear hell and those who seek after heaven ; 
he who has knowledge of the secrets of God 
sows none of such seed in his heart of hearts. 


25* 

If in the season of spring a being, houri-shaped, 
gives me on the green bank of a field a goblet full of wine, 
(though to everyone this saying may seem uncouth) 
a dog is better than I am if thenceforth I pronounce the name 
of heaven. 


26. 

Know this — ^that from thy soul thou shalt be separated, 
thou shalt pass behind the curtain of the secrets of God. 

Be happy — thou knowest not whence thou hast come : 
drink wine — thou knowest not whither thou shalt go. 

27. 

I fell asleep, and wisdom said to me; — 

‘‘Never from sleep has the rose of happiness blossomed for 
anyone ; 

why do a thing that is the mate of death? 

Drink wine, for thou must sleep for ages.’* 


28. 

My heart said to me: — “I have a longing for inspired knowledge; 
teach me if thou art able.” 

I said the Alif. My heart said ; — “ Say no more. 

If One is in the house, one letter is enough.” 



6 


RuhaHyat of Omar Khayyam 


29. 

No one can pass behind the curtain that veils the secret, 
the mind of no one is cognizant of what is there ; 
save in the heart of earth we have no haven. 

Drink wine, for to such talk there is no end. 

30. 

The mystery must be kept hidden from all the ignoble, 
and the secrets must be withheld from fools. 

Consider thine actions towards thy fellow men : 
our hopes must be concealed from all mankind. 


31- 

From the beginning was written what shall be; 
unhaJtingly the Pen writes^ and is heedless of good and bad; 
on the First Day He appointed everything that must be — 
our grief and our efforts are vain. 


32. 

In the spring, on the bank of the river and on the edge 
of the field, 

with a few companions and a playmate houri-shaped, 
bring forth the cup, for those that drink the morning draught 
are independent of the mosque and free from the synagogue 


33 - 

The heavenly vault is the girdle of my weary body, 
Jihun is a water-course worn by my filtered tears, 
hell is a spark from my useless worries, 

Paradise is a moment of time when I am tranquil. 


34 - 

They say that the garden of Eden is pleasant with houris : 
I say that the juice of the grape is pleasant. 

Hold fast this cash and let that credit go, 

for the noise of drums, brother, is pleasant from afar. 



English Translation 


7 


35 - 

Drink wine, for thou wilt sleep long beneath the clay 
without an intimate, a friend, a comrade, or wife ; 
take care that thou telPst not this hidden secret to anyone : — 
The tulips that are withered will never bloom again. 

36. 

Drink wine, for this is life eternal, 

this is thy gain from the days of thy youth ; 

a season of roses, and wine, and drunken companions — 

be happy for a moment for this is life! 


37 - 

Give me wine which is a salve for my wounded heart, 
it is the boon companion of those who have trafficked in love ; 
to my mind the dregs of a single draught are better 
than the vault of heaven which is the hollow of the world's 
skull. 

38. 

I drink wine, and my enemies from left and right 
say: — ^'Do not drink wine, for it is the foe of religion.’^ 

When I knew that wine was the foe of religion, 

I said : — By Allah I let me drink the foe’s blood, for that is 
lawful.” 


39 - 

Wine is a melted ruby and the cup is the mine thereof ; 
the cup is a body and its wine is the soul thereof; 
that crystal cup that is bubbling over with wine 
is a tear in which the heart’s blood is hidden. 


40. 

I know not whether he who fashioned me 
appointed me to dwell in heaven or in dreadful hell, 
hut some food, and an adored one, and wine, upon the green 
bank of a field — 

all these three are cash to me: thine be the credit-heaven! 



8 


Ruba'iyat of Omar Khayyam 


41. 

The good and the bad that are in man’s nature, 
the happiness and misery that are predestined for us — 
do not impute them to the heavens, for in the way of Wisdom 
those heavens are a thousandfold more helpless than thou art. 


42. 

Whosoever has engrafted the leaf of love upon his heart, 
not one day of his life has been wasted ; 
either he strives to meet with God’s approbation, 
or he chooses bodily comfort and raises the wine-cup. 


43 - 

Everywhere that there has been a rose or tulip-bed, 
there has been spilled the crimson blood of a king; 
every violet shoot that grows from the earth 
is a mole that was once upon the cheek of a beauty. 

44. 

Be prudent, for the means of life are uncertain ; 
take heed, for the sword of destiny is keen. 

If fortune place almond-sweets in thy very mouth, 
beware ! swallow them not, for poison is mingled therein. 

45 - 

One jar of wine and a lover’s lips, on the bank of the sown 
field — 

these have robbed me of cash, and thee of the credit. 

Some are pledged to heaven or hell, 

but who ever went to hell, and who ever came from heaven ? 

46. 

O thou, whose cheek is moulded upon the model of the 
wild rose, 

whose face is cast in the mould of Chinese idols, 
yesterday thy amorous glance gave to the Shah of Babylon 
the moves of the Knight, the Castle, the Bishop, the Pawn, 
and the Queen. 



English T ranslation 


9 


47 - 

Since life passes; what is Baghdad and what is Balkh? 

When the cup is full, what matter if it be sweet or bitter? 
Drink wine, for often, after thee and me, this moon 
will pass on from the last day of the month to the first, and 
from the first to the last. 

48. 

Of those who draw the pure date wine 

and those who spend the night in prayer, 

not one is on the dry land, all are in the water. 

One is awake: the others are asleep. 

This intellect that haunts the path of happiness 
keeps saying to thee a hundred times a day: — 

“Understand in this single moment of thine existence, that 
thou art not 

like those herbs which when they gather them spring up again.” 


50 - 

Those who are the slaves of intellect and hair-splitting, 
have perished in bickerings about existence and non-existence; 
go, thou ignorant one, and choose rather grape-juice, 
for the ignorant from eating dry raisins have become like unripe 
grapes themselues. 

51 - 

My coming was of no profit to the heavenly sphere, 
and by my departure naught will be added to its beauty and 
dignity; 

neither from anyone have my two ears heard 
what is the object of this my coming and going. 


53. 

We must be effaced in the way of love, 
we must be destroyed in the talons of destiny ; 
O sweet-faced Cup-bearer, sit thou not idle, 
give to me water, for dust I must become. 



10 


RubaHyat of Omar Khayyam 


53 - 

Now that nothing but the mere name of our happiness 
remains, 

the only old friend that remains is new wine; 

withhold not the merry hand from the wine-cup 

to-day that nothing but the cup remains within our reach. 


54 - 

What the Pen has written never changes, 
and grieving only results in deep affliction ; 
even though, all thy life, thou sufferest anguish, 
not one drop becomes increased beyond what it is. 


55 - 

0 heart, for a while seek not the company of the frail ones; 
cease for a while to be engrossed with the commerce of love. 
Frequent the thresholds of the darvishes — 
perhaps thou mayest be accepted for awhile by the accepted 
people. 


56 . 

Those who adorn the Heavens for a fragment of time, 
come, and go, and come again as time goes on; 
in the skirt of Heaven, and in the pocket of earth, 
are creatures who, while God dies not, will yet be born. 


57 - 

Those whose beliefs are founded upon hypocrisy, 
come and draw a distinction between the body and the soul; 
I will put the wine jar on my head, if, when I have done so, 
they place a comb upon my head, as if I were a cock. 

58 . 

The bodies which people this heavenly vault, 
puzzled the learned. 

Beware lest thou losest the end of the string of wisdom, 
for evm the controllers themselves become giddy. 



English T vanslation 


II 


59 - 

I am not the man to dread my non-existence, 
for that half seems pleasanter to me than this half; 
this is a life which God has lent me, 

I will surrender it when the time of surrender comes, 

60. 

This caravan of life passes by mysteriously ; 
mayest thou seize the moment that passes happily! 

Cup-bearer, why grieve about the to-morrow of thy patrons ? 
give us a cup of wine, for the night wanes. 

61. 

Being old, my love for thee led my head into a snare ; 
if not, how comes it that my hand holds the cup of date-wine? 
My sweetheart has destroyed the penitence born of reason, 
and the passing seasons have torn the garment that patience 
sewed. 

62. 

Although wine has rent my veil, 

so long as I have a soul I will not be separated from wine; 

I am in perplexity concerning vintners, for they — 
what will they buy that is better than what they sell ? 

63- 

So much generosity and kindness at the beginning, why was it? 
and that maintenance of me with delights and blandishments, 
why was it ? 

Now Thine only endeavour is to afflict my heart; 

after all, what wrong have I done — once more, why was it? 

64. 

In my mind may there be desire for idols houri-like, 
in my hand may there be, all the year round, the juice of the 
grape ; 

they say to me, May God give thee repentance ! ” 

He himself will not give it; I will none of it; let it be far off! 



12 


RubaHyat of Omccr Khayyam 


65 - 

In the tavern thou canst not perform the Ablution save with 
wine, 

and thou canst not purify a tarnished reputation ; 
be happy, for this veil of temperance of ours 
is so torn that it cannot be repaired. 


66 . 

I saw upon the terrace of a house a man, alone, 
who trampled upon the clay, holding it in contempt; 
that clay said to him in mystic language: — 

“ Be still, for like me thou wilt be much trampled upon.’* 

67. 

It is a pleasant day, and the weather is neither hot nor cold ; 
the rain has washed the dust from the faces of the roses ; 
the nightingale in the Pehlevi tongue to the yellow rose 
cries ever : — Thou must drink wine ! ” 

68 . 

Ere that faU makes assault upon thy head, 
give orders that they bring thee rose-coloured wine ; 
thou art not treasure, O heedless dunce, that thee 
they hide in the earth and then dig up again. 

69. 

Take heed to stay me with the wine-cup, 
and make this amber face like a ruby; 
when I die, wash me with wine, 

and out of the wood of the vine make the planks of my coffin. 

70. 

O Shah ! destiny appointed thee to sovereignty, 
and saddled for thee the horse of empire ; 
when thy golden-hoofed charger moved, 
setting foot upon the clay, the earth became gilded. 



English Tymslation 


13 


71 - 

A love that is imaginary has no value; 
like a fire half-dead, it gives no heat. 

A trne lover, throughout the month, and year, and night, and day, 
takes neither rest, nor peace, nor food, nor sleep. 


72. 

No one has solved the tangled secrets of eternity, 
no one has set foot beyond the orbit, 
since, so far as I can see, from tyro to teacher, 
impotent are the hands of all men born of woman. 


73 - 

Set limits to thy desire for worldly things and live content, 
sever the bonds of thy dependence upon the good and bad of life, 
take wine in hand and play with the curls of a loved one ; for 
quickly 

all passeth away — and how many of these days remain? 

74 - 

The heavens rain down blossoms from the clouds, 
thou mayest say that they shed blossoms into the garden ; 
in a lily-like cup I pour rosy wine, 
as the violet clouds pour down jessamine. 


75 - 

I drink wine, and every one drinks who like me is worthy of it ; 
my wine-drinking is but a small thing to Him ; 

, God knew, on the Day of Creation, that I should drink wine ; 
if I do not drink wine, God’s knowledge was ignorance. 

76. 

Do not allow sorrow to embrace thee, 
nor an idle grief to occupy thy days ; 

forsake not the book, and the lover’s lips, and the green bank 
of the field, 

ere that the earth enfold thee in its bosom. 



14 


Ruba’iyat of Omar Khayyam 


77- 

Drink wine, that will banish thy abundant woes, 
and will banish thought of the Seventy-two Sects; 
avoid not the alchemist, for, from him, 

thou takest one draught, and he banishes a thousand calamities. 

78- 

Even though wine is forbidden, for all that it depends upon who 
drinks it, 

and then in what quantity, and also with whom he drinks it ; 
these three conditions being as they should be; say! 
who drinks wine if a wise man does not do so ? 

79- 

Drink wine, for thy body becomes atoms in the earth, 

thine earth, after that, becomes goblets and jars ; 

be thou heedless of hell and heaven, 

why should a wise man be deceived about such things? 

8o. 

Now is the time when by the spring-breezes the world is 
adorned, 

and in hope of rain it opens its eyes, 

the hands of Moses appear like froth upon the bough, 

the breath of Jesus comes forth from the earth. 


81. 

Every draught that the Cup-bearer scatters upon the earth 
quenches the fire of anguish in some afflicted eye. 

Praise be to God 1 thou realizest that wine 

is a juice that frees thy heart from a hundred pains. 

82. 

Every morning the dew bedecks the faces of the tulips, 
the crests of the violets in the garden are bent downward ; 
verily, most pleasing to me is the rosebud 
which gathers its skirts close around itself. 



English Translation 


15 


83. 

Friends, when ye hold a meeting together, 
it behoves ye warmly to remember your friend; 
when ye drink wholesome wine together, 
and my turn comes, turn a goblet upside down. 

84. 

Friends, when with consent ye make a tryst together, 
and take delight in one another’s charms, 
when the Cup-bearer takes round in his hand the Mugh wine, 
remember a certain helpless one in your benediction. 

85. 

One cup of wine is worth a hundred hearts and religions, 
one draught of wine is worth the empire of China, 
saving ruby wine there is not, on the face of earth, 
any acrid thing that is worth a thousand sweet souls. 

86 . 

If thou desirest Him, be separated from wife and children, 
bravely move thine abode from thy relations and friends; 
whatever is, is an hindrance on the road for thee, 
how canst thou journey with these hindrances? — remove them! 

87. 

Bring me that ruby in a clear glass, 

bring me that companion and intimate of all excellent people: 
since thou knowest that the duration of this earthly world 
is a wind that quickly passes by, — bring me wine. 

88 . 

Arise ! bring physic to this oppressed heart, 
bring that musk-scented and rose-coloured wine ; 
if thou desirest the elements of sorrow’s antidote, 
bring ruby wine and the silk stringed lute. 



i6 


RubaHyat of Omar Khayyam 


8g. 

I saw a potter in the bazaar yesterday, 
he was violently pounding the fresh clay, 
and that clay said to him, in mystic language, 

“ I was once like thee — so treat me well.’* 

go. 

Drink of that wine that is eternal life, 

it is the stock-in-trade of youthful pleasure, drink ! 

it burns like fire, but sorrows 

it makes like the water of life — drink ! 


91 - 

Follow not the Traditions, and leave alone the Commands, 
withhold not from anyone the morsel that thou possessest: 
neither slander, nor afflict the heart of anyone, 

I guarantee you the world beyond — bring wine ! 

g2. 

Wine is rose-red, and the cup is filhd with the water of roses, 
— maybe, 

in the crystal casket is a pure ruby,— maybe, 
a melted ruby is in the water, — maybe, 
moonlight is the veil of the sun, — ^maybe. 

93 - 

Every vow we make, we break again, 

we shut once more upon ourselves the door of fame and 
fair repute ; 

blame me not if I act as a fool, 

for once more am I drunken with the wine of love. 

94 - 

To speak plain language, and not in parables, 
we are the pieces and heaven plays the game, 
we are played together in a baby-game upon the chessboard 
of existence, 

and one by one we return to the box of non-existence- 



English Translation 


17 


95 - 

Oh, heart ! since in this world truth itself is hyperbole, 
why art thou so disquieted with this trouble and abasement ? 
resign thy body to destiny, and adapt thyself to the times, 
for, what the Pen has written, it will not re-write for thy sake. 

96. 

On the face of the rose there is still a cloud-shadow, 
in my nature and heart there is still a desire for wine ; 
sleep not, what right hast thou to sleep yet? 
give me wine, sweetheart, for it is still daylight. 


97 - 

Go ! throw dust upon the face of the heavens, 
drink wine, and consort with the fair of face ; 
what time is this for worship ? and what time is this for 
supplication ? 

since, of all those that have departed, not one has returned? 

g8. 

Fill the cup ! for the day breaks white like snow, 
learn colour from the wine that is ruby; 
take two fragrant aloe logs, and brighten the assembly, 
make one into a lute, and burn the other. 


99 - 

We have returned to our wonted debauch, 
we have renounced — the Five Prayers! 
wherever the goblet is, there thou mayst see us, 
our necks stretched out like that of the bottle. 

100. 

In great desire I pressed my lips to the lip of the jar, 
to enquire from it how long life might be attained ; 
it joined its lip to mine and whispered: — 

Drink wine, for, to this world, thou returnest not.” 


2 



i8 


RuhaHyat of Omar Khayyam 


101. 

I will give thee counsel if thou wilt give ear to me, 
for the sake of God do not wear the garment of hypocrisy, 
the hereafter will fill all hours, and the world is but a moment, 
do not sell the kingdom of eternity for the sake of one moment. 

102 . 

Khayyam, if thou art drunk with wine, be happy, 
if thou reposest with one tulip-cheeked, be happy, 
since the end of all things is that thou wilt be naught; 
whilst thou art, imagine that thou art not, — be happy ! 

103. 

I went last night into the workshop of a potter, 

I saw two thousand pots, some speaking, and some silent ; 
suddenly one of the pots cried out aggressively: — 

Where are the pot maker, and the pot buyer, and the pot 
seller ? ’’ 

104. 

Of this spirit, that they call pure wine, 
they say: — It is a remedy for a ruined heart”; 
set quickly before me two or three heavily filled cups, 
why do they call a good water '^wicked water”? 

105. 

Regard my virtues one by one, and forgive my crimes ten 
by ten, 

pardon every crime that is past, the reckoning is with God ! 
let not the wind and air fan the flame of thy rancour, 
by Muhammad's tomb ! forgive me. 

106. 

Verily wine in the goblet is a delicate spirit, 
in the body of the jar, a delicate soul reposes, 
nothing heavy is worthy to be the friend of wine 
save the wine-cup, for that is, at the same time, heavy and 
delicate. 



English Translation 


19 


107. 

Where is the limit to eternity to come, and where to eternity 
past? 

now is the time of joy, there is no substitute for wine: 
both theory and practice have passed beyond my ken, 
hut wine unties the knot of every difficulty. 

108. 

This vault of heaven, beneath which we stand bewildered, 
we know to be a sort of magic-lantern: 

know thou that the sun is the lamp-flame and the universe is 
the lamp, 

we are like figures that revolve in it. 

109. 

I do not always prevail over my nature , — but what can I do ? 
and I suffer for my actions , — but what can I do ? 

I verily believe that Thou wilt generously pardon me 
on account of my shame that Thou hast seen what I have 
done , — hut what can I do? 

no. 

Let me arise and seek pure wine, 

make thou the colour of my cheek like that of the jujube fruit, 
as for this meddling intellect, a fist-full of wine 
will I throw in its face, to make it sleep. 

III. 

How long shall we continue slaves to every-day problems ? 
what matter whether we live one year, or one day, in this world ? 
pour out a cup of wine, before that we 
become pots in the workshop of the potters. 

m. 

Since our abode in this monastery is not permanent 
without the Cup-bearer and the beloved, it is painful to support 
life; 

how long of ancient creeds or new, O philosopher? 
when I have left it what matter if the world be old or new? 



20 


RubaHyat of Omar Khayyam 


113- 

In loving Thee I incur reproaches for a hundred sins, 
and if I fail in this obligation I pay a penalty : 
if my life remain faithful to Thy cruelty, 

please God, I shall have less than that to bear till the Judg- 
ment Day. 

114. 

The world being fleeting, I practise naught but artifice, 

I hold only with cheerfulness and sparkling wine; 
they say to me : — “ May God grant thee penitence.” 

He himself does not give it, and if He gives it, I will none of it. 

II5- 

Although I have come with an air of supplication to the mosque, 
by Allah! I have not come to pray; 

I came one day and stole a prayer-mat — 
that sin wears out, and I come again and again. 

116. 

When I am abased beneath the foot of destiny 

and am rooted up from the hope of life, 

take heed that thou makest nothing but a goblet of my clay, 

haply when it is full of wine I may revive, 

117. 

My heart does not distinguish between the bait and the trap, 
one counsel urges it towards the mosque, another towards 
the cup ; 

nevertheless the wine-cup, and the loved one, and I continually 
together, 

are better, cooked, in a tavern, than raw, in a monastery. 

118. 

It is morning: let us for a moment inhale rose-coloured wine, 
and shatter against a stone this vessel of reputation and honour; 
let us cease to strive after what has long been our hope, 
and play with long ringlets and the handle of the lute. 



English Translation 


21 


119. 

We have preferred a corner and two loaves to the world, 
and we have put away greed of its estate and magnificence; 
we have bought poverty with our heart and soul — 
in poverty we have discerned great riches. 

120. 

I know the outwardness of existence and of non-existence, 

I know the inwardness of all that is high and low ; 
nevertheless let me be modest about my own knowledge 
if I recognise any degree higher than drunkenness. 

121. 

For a while, when young, we frequented a teacher, 
for a while we were contented with our proficiency; 
behold the foundation of the discourse: — what happened to us? 
we came in like water and we depart like wind. 

122. 

To him who understands the mysteries of the world, 
the joy and sorrow of the world is all the same; 
since the good and the bad of the world will come to an end ; 
what matter, Since it must end ? an thou wilt, be all pain, or, 
an thou wilt, all remedy. 

123. 

So far as in thee lies, follow the example of the profligate, 

destroy the foundations of prayer and fasting: 

hear thou the Word of Truth from Omar Khayyam, 

Drink wine, rob on the highway, and be benevolent.” 

124. 

Since the harvest for the human race, in this wilderness, 
is naught but to suffer affliction or to give up the ghost, 
light-hearted is he who passes quickly firom this world, 
and he who never came into the world is at rest. 



23 


RxibcCiyat of Omar Khayyam 


125. 

Darvish! rend from thy body the figured veil, 
rather than sacrifice thy body for the sake of that veil ; 
go and throw u'pon thy shoulders the old rug of poverty — 
beneath that rug thou art equal to a sultan, 

126. 

Behold the evil conduct of this vault of heaven, 
behold the world — empty by the passing away of friends ; 
as far as thou art able live for thyself for one moment, 
look not for to-morrow, seek not yesterday, behold the present ! 

127. 

To drink wine and consort with a company of the beautiful 
is better than practising the hypocrisy of the zealot; 
if the lover and the drunkard are doomed to hell, 
then no one will see the face of -heaven. 

128. 

One cannot consume one’s happy heart with sorrow, 
nor consume the pleasure of one’s life upon the touchstone ; 
no one is to be found who knows what is to be; 
wine, and a loved one, and to repose according to one’s desire,— 
these things are necessary. 

129. 

This heavenly vault, for the sake of my destruction and thine, 
wages war upon my pure soul and thine; 
sit upon the green sward, 0 my Idol ! for it will not be long 
ere that green sward shall grow from my dust and thine. 

130. 

What profits it, our coming and going? 

and wh^re is the woof for the warp of the stuff of our life ? 

How many delicate bodies the world 

burns away to dust ! and where is the smoke of them ? 



E nglish T ransldtion 


23 


131. 

Flee from the study of all sciences — ’tis better thus, 
and twine thy fingers in the curly locks of a loved one — *tis 
better thus, 

ere that fate shall spill thy blood; 

pour thou the blood of the bottle into the cup — ’tis better thus. 

132. 

Ah ! I have brushed the tavern doorway with my moustaches, 
I have bidden farewell to the good and evil of both worlds ; 
though both the worlds should fall like balls in my street, 
seek me, — ye will find me sleeping like a drunkard, 

133 - 

From everything save wine abstinence is best, 

and that wine is best when served by drunken beauties in a pavilion, 

drinking, and Kalendarism, and erring, are best, 

one draught of wine from Mah to Mahi is best. 

134 - 

This heavenly vault is like a bowl, fallen upside down, 
under which all the wise have fallen captive, 
choose thou the manner of friendship of the goblet and the jar, 
they are lip to lip, and blood has fallen between them. 

135 - 

See, the skirt of the rose has been torn by the breeze, 
the nightingale rejoices in the beauty of the rose ; 
sit in the shade of the rose, for, by the wind, many roses 
have been scattered to earth and have become dust. 

136. 

How long shall I grieve about what I have or have not, 
and whether I shall pass this life light-heartedly or not? 

Fill up the wine-cup, for I do not know 

that I shall breathe out this breath that I am drawing in. 



24 


RitbaHyat of Omar Khayyam 


137 - 

Submit not to the sorrow of this iniquitous world, 
remind us not of sorrow for those who have passed away, 
give thine heart only to one jasmine-bosomed and fairy-born, 
be not without wine, and cast not thy life to the winds. 

138. 

Though thy life pass sixty years, do not give up ; 

wherever thou directest thy steps, walk not save when drunk; 

before they make the hollow of thy skull into a jar, 

lower not the jar from thy shoulder, neither relinquish the cup. 

139 - 

One draught of old wine is better than a new kingdom, 
avoid any way save that of wine— ’tis better so ; 
the cup is a hundred times better than the kingdom of FerTdun, 
the tile that covers the jar is better than the crown of Kal- 
Khosru. 


140. 

Those, O Saki, who have gone before us, 
have fallen asleep, O Saki, in the dust of self-esteem ; 
go thou and drink wine, and hear the truth from me, 
whatever they have said, O Saki, is hut wind. 

141. 

Thou hast broken my jug of wine, O Lord; 

Thou hast shut upon me the door of happiness, O Lord ; 
thou hast spilled my pure wine upon the earth ; 
may I perish ! but thou art strange, O Lord ! 

142. 

O heaven ! thou givest something to every base creature, 
thou suppliest baths, and millstreams, and canals; 
the pure man plays hazard for his night's provisions : 
wouldst thou give a fig for such a heaven ? 



English Translation 


25 


143- 

0 heart! at the mysterious secret thou arrivest not, 

at the conceits of the ingenious philosophers thou arrivest not ; 

make thyself a heaven here with wine and cup, 

for at that place where heaven is, thou mayst arrive, or mayst not. 


144. 

Thou eatest always smoke from the kitchen of the world ; 
how long wilt thou suffer miseries concerning what is or is not ? 
thou desirest not a stock in trade, for its source weakens, 
md who will consume the capital, seeing that thou consumest 
all the profit ? ^ 

145- 

O soul! if thou canst purify thyself from the dust of the body, 

thou, naked spirit, canst soar in the heavens, 

the Empyrean is thy sphere, — let it be thy shame, 

that thou comest and art a dweller within the confines of earth. 


146. 

I smote the glass wine-cup upon a stone last night, 
my head was turned that I did so base a thing; 
the cup said to me in mystic language, 

“I was like thee, and thou also wilt be like me.” 


147. 

Grasp the wine-cup and the flagon, 0 heart’s desire! 
pleasantly, pleasantly, and cheerfully, wander in the garden 
by the river brink; 

many are the excellent folk whom malicious heaven 
has made a hundred times into cups, and a hundred times into 
flagons. 

148. 

In a thousand places on the road I walk. Thou placest snares. 
Thou sayest, “ I will catch thee if thou placest step in them ” ; 
in no smallest thing is the world independent of Thee, 

Thou orderest all things, and callest me rebellious. 


3 



26 


RubaHyat of Omar Khayyam 


149. 

I desire a little ruby wine and a book of verses, 
just enough to keep me alive and half a loaf is needful; 
and then, that I and thou, should sit in a desolate place 
is better than the kingdom of a sultan. 


150 - 

Do not give way so much to vain grief, — live happily, 
and, in the way of injustice, set thou an example of justice, 
since the final end of this world is nothingness ; 
suppose thyself to be nothing, and be free. 

151- 

Gaze as I may on all sides, 

in the garden flows a stream from the river Kausar, 
the desert becomes like heaven, thou mayst say hell has 
disappeared, 

sit thou then in heaven with one heavenly-faced. 

152. 

Be happy! they settled thy reward yesterday, 
and beyond the reach of all thy longings is yesterday; 
live happily, for without any importunity on thy part yesterday, 
they appointed with certainty what thou wilt do to-morrow, — 
yesterday 1 

153 - 

Pour out the red wine of pure tulip colour, 
draw the pure blood from the throat of the jar, 
for to-day, beside the wine-cup, there is not, for me, 
one friend who possesses a pure heart, 

154 - 

To the ear of my heart Heaven whispered secretly: — 

‘'The commands that are decreed thou mayst learn from me: 
had I a hand in my own revolutions, 

I would have saved myself from giddiness.’' 



English Translation 


27 


155 - 

If a loaf of wheaten-bread be forthcoming, 
a gourd of wine, and a thigh-bone of mutton, 
and then, if thou and I he sitting in the wilderness, — 
that would be a joy to which no sultan can set bounds, 

156. 

If henceforth two measures of wine come to thy hand, 
drink thou wine in every assembly and congregation, 
for He who made the world does not occupy Himself 
about moustaches like thine, or a beard like mine. 

157 - 

Had I charge of the matter I would not have come, 
and likewise could I control my going, where should I go ? 
were it not better than that, that in this world 
I had neither come, nor gone, nor lived? 

158. 

The month of Ramadan passes and Shawwal comes, 
the season of increase, and joy, and story-tellers comes ; 
now comes that time when ^'Bottles upon the shoulder!” 
they say, — for the porters come and are back to back. 


END OF THE QUATRAINS. 


Written by the humble slave, who is in need of mercies 
of Eternal God, Mahmud Yerbudakl. Finished in the last 
decade of Safar, with blessing and victory, in the year Eight 
hundred and sixty-five of the Hijrah of the Prophet, upon 
whom be peace, and benediction, and honour; in the capital 
Shiraz. 

May God most high protect her from evils. 




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^7 






































































TEXT, TRANSCRIPT, TRANSLATION 
AND NOTES 


9— a 




BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES 

With the Abbreviations used in the Notes to the Text and Translation, 


In order to save reiteration in referring to the translations, 
texts, and other authorities consulted in the construction of this 
work, they are referred to in the notes in the following manner : — 

C. — The transcript of the MS. No. 1548 in the Asiatic Society’s 
Library at Calcutta, which Prof. Cowell had made for 
Edward FitzGerald {vide Introduction). 

P. — The MS. in the Bibliotheque Nationals in Paris. Sup- 
plement Persan, No. 823. 

B, ii. — The Bankipur MS. described oq page xi (Introduction). 

L. — The Lucknow lithographed edition (1894). 

S. P- — The edition lithographed at St. Petersburg in the year 
A.H. 1306 (a.d. 1888), which is copied from an edition litho- 
graphed at Tabriz, a.h. 1285 (a.d. 1868). 

B. — The Bombay lithographed edition of 1880. It is almost 
identical with the Lucknow Edition. 

Note. — The ruba’iyat are not numbered in any oi the above, but I 
have numbered my copies for convenience of reference. The numbers 
in the lithographs may be taken as correct ; those in the MS. are as 
correct as ordinary care can make them, regard being had to the 
Oriental habit of writing extra quatrains in the margins — at least, they 
are very closely approximate. 

N. — J, B. Nicolas. “ Les Quatrains de Kheyam, traduits du 
Persan.” Paris, 1867. Imprimerie Imperiale. 

W. — E. H. Whinfield. “ The Quatrains of Omar Khayyto. 
The Persian text with an English verse translation.” 
London, 1883. Triibner. 

F. i.— Edward FitzGerald’s poem, ist edition. London, 1859. 
Quaritch. 

F. ii. — Ditto, 2nd edition. London, 1868. Quaritch. 

F. hi. — Ditto, 3rd edition. London, 1872. Quaritch. 

F. iv. — Ditto, 4th edition. London, 1879. Quaritch. 

F. V. — Ditto, 5th edition. London, 1890. Macmillan. 

De T. — Garcin de Tassy. ^‘Note sur les Rubaiyat de ’Omar 
Khaiyam.” Paris, 1857. Imprimerie Imperiale. (Extract 
from the Journal Asiatique, 1857.) 

L. R. — “ Letters and Literary Remains of Edward FitzGerald.” 
London, 1889. Macmillan. 3 vols. 



ii6 Bihlio graphical References 

D. — N. H. Dole. “Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: English, 

French, and German translations. Comparatively arranged 
in accordance with the text of Edward FitzGerald’s version. 
With further selections, notes, biographies, bibliography, 
and other material.” Boston, i8g6. J. Knight. 

E. C. — E. B. Cowell in the Calcutta Review^ No. 59, March, 

1858, p. 149. “ A Review of the Algebra of Omar Khayyam 
(Paris, 1851) and of Dr. Sprenger’s Catalogue.” 

S. — A. Sprenger. “ Catalogue of the Arabic, Persian, and 
Hindustany Manuscripts of the libraries of the Kings of 
Oudh.” Vol. I. Calcutta, 1854. 

M. — Mantic ut tair, ou le langage des oiseaux, par Ferid ud din 
Attar, publie en persan par M. Garcin de Tassy. Paris, 
1857. Translation, Paris, 1863. 

P.N. — “Pend Nameh, ou le livre des Conseils de Ferid-eddin 
Attar, traduit et publie par M. le B°“. Silvestre de Sacy.” 
Paris, i8ig. Persian text and translation with variorum 
notes. 

Gulistan. — When referring to this work I have used the text 
printed from the Calcutta edition by Francis Gladwin in 
1806, revised by Sir Wm. Gore Ouseley (London, 1809) ; the 
Translation privately printed for members of the Kama 
Shastra Society at “Benares” (London) in 1888; and the 
standard translation of Edward B. Eastwick (last edition, 
London, 1880 ; Trubner). 

Beharistan. — When referring to this work, I have used the two 
British Museum MSS. Add. 7775 and 18,579, and the 
translation privately printed for the members of the Kama 
Shastra Society at “Benares” (London) in 1887. 

Steingass. — “A Comprehensive Persian- English Dictionary . . . 
being Johnson and Richardson’s Persian, Arabic, and 
English Dictionary,” revised, enlarged, and entirely re- 
constructed, by F. Steingass, Ph.D. London (W. H. 
Allen & Co.), n.d. (1892). 


Note. — It may be taken as a general rule that, in the actual notesy 
where N. is mentioned S. P. is also implied, and where 
L. is mentioned B, is implied ; that is, of course, when 
references are given to both authorities in the headnote to a 
quatrain. 




lo 


NOTES. 


I. 

This quatrain is C. 274, P. 4, B. ii. 302. L. 423, S. P 228, B. 419, N 229, 
W. 268, and (as also the following one) is out of its diwaji order, and was probably 
placed at the commencement of this MS. to satisfy some scruple of the writer, 
Mahmud Yerbudaki. Edward FitzGerald (F. v., Preface, pp. 14, 15) remarks 
concerning it; “The scribes of the Oxford and Calcutta MSS. seem to do their 
work under a sort of protest, each beginning with a tetrastich (whether genuine 
or not) taken out of its alphabetical order. . . . The Bodleian Quatrain pleads 
Pantheism by way of justification : 

‘ If I myself upon a looser Creed 
Have loosely strung the Jewel of Good-deed, 

Let this one thing for my Atonement plead, 

That One for Two I never did mis-read.‘ ” 

The Calcutta MS begins with one of expostulation, supposed (says a notice 
prefixed to the MS.) to have arisen from a dream, in which Omar’s mother 
asked about his future fate. It may be rendered thus : 

“ 0 Thou who burn’st in Heart for those who burn 
In Hell, whose fires thyself should feed in turn ; 

How long be crying, ‘ Mercy on them, God ! ’ 

Why, who art Thou to teach, and He to learn ? " ^ 

This is quoted by Dr. Sprenger as the first tetrastich of the MS. in the library of 
the Kings of Oudh (S., p. 464), and may be literally rendered : 

“ O drunken student deserving to be burnt, 

Woe ! that the fire of Hell shall blaze from you. 

How long will you keep saying, ‘ Have mercy upon Omar ’ ? 

What claim have you to be a teacher of mercy to God ? " 

It also figures as B. ii. 537, L. 769, B 755, N. 459, W. 488. 

1. Note the error of the scribe, zd'atat’^ ior td'atai.^ There are several such 
errors in the MS., but, excepting where they obscure the meaning, I do not think 
it worth while to call attention to them 

2. The phrase ga^ihar suftan^ — ” to thread pearls," and is used in Persian to 
mean "to write verses," or to tell a story Cf. M., 1. 378: "Behold the 
pearls of the sword of my tongue ; every pearl that falls from my mouth on thy 
path comes from the bottom of my heart. Compare Hafiz’s; "When thou 
composest verses, thou seemest to make a string of pearls : come, sing them 
sweetly." 

3. N.’s text reads, " And if I have never swept the dust of your path with 
my heart." In this line we have an echo of the expression in F. v., 81, "the 
Sin wherewith the Face of Man is blacken’d," which he took from M., 11. 225-227. 
Vids post, q. 109. 

4. The other texts read, " I am not hopeless of mercy at your tribunal." ® 

5. C., B. ii., L., N., and W. begin zlrd AH — because that. 

6. In this line Omar boasts that he has never questioned the Unity of 
God. tawhld Jterdan^ = to acknowledge One God. Cf. M., 11. 116, "Keep 
steadfast in unity, and keep away from duality," 1® and 3210, and chap. xlii. ; 
" The valley of the Tawhid." 

[Notes to page 119 continued on pcLge 120.) 



Transcript and Translation 


119 



I 


^ t. r ^. y .i Q LL j- !s 
J>1 diJb ^1 b 


f' 


jb tioL- j)j_i^ jj i) 



I. 

If I have never threaded the pearl ^ of Thy service, ^ 
and if I have never wiped the dust of sin from my face;® 
nevertheless, I j|m not hopeless of Thy mercy,^ 
for the reason that® I have never said that One was Two.® 
I 2, 

If I talk of th| mystery with Thee in a tavern, 
it is better thai if I make my devotions® before the Mihrab^ 
without (fhee 


10 — 2 




120 


Notes 


2 . 

This quatrain is C. 272, P, 7, B. ii. 294, L. 427, S. P. 221, B. 423, N. 222, 
W. 262. It is one of those that FitzGerald reproduced almost faithfully (F. i , 
No 56; F. V., No 77), and scarcely altered in his own four editions 
And this I know whether the one True Light 
Kindle to Love, or Wrath consume me quite, 

One Flash of it within the Tavern caught 
Better than in the Temple lost outiight. 

1 The Mihvah is the spot in a mosque giving the exact direction of Mecca, 
towards which all Muslims turn in prayer. 

2 The nemd^ are the prayers prescribed by Muhammadan law to be 

repeated five times a day, the paiij wakt-i -nmdz^ (vid^ post, 99). They are 

respectively the nemdz-i-hdmdad'^^ ~ morning prayers said before dawn; the 
nemdz-i-pTshhi'^'^ = midday prayers; the nevidz-i-dtgar'^^ = afternoon prayers; 
the dr- w/i dwi = prayers immediately after sunset; and \nemdz-i-kJmf~ 

= prayers before bed. L. reads the line, “Since then I do not make a 

pretence of prayer before the Mihrab.” 

(1) 

^ ji ^ v// t/ 

y bi3^ 

ji J04 -dUs. (^) Ua 

^y (®) ^ >j0 (") ^ ^ (<5) 

jL4i j)Ui gju 

jy (10) ;UJ (10) jUi (1^) (•U, (13) 

laiVto. u^y* } ^ ^ 

;1 jib HT* (^’’’) 

1 * 12001^*51 ^O 

^ jO ( 18 ) 


3. Cf. the appellation of Muhammad, “firstand last of prophets.”! Cf. M., 

1 . 176 “Oh God! who but Thou is infinite^ Who is without beginning or 
ending ? ' ' ^ \ 

4. Vide note 5, q. 122. 

3 \ 

I do not find this quatrain in any other text. L. 2'(B. ii 13, S. P. 12, 
B. 2, N. 12, W. ii) begins like it, but is really quite different. 1 

I. Literally, “Do not give from (your) hand ” 1 

4 - 1 

This quatrain is W. 15, and is the first of those in de T. but I do not find it 
in C., B. ii., P , L., or N. ^ 

I Literally, " Upon the fire of your own anger do not cause anyone to sit.” 

» ' 

y euu-j (1) 

“'-‘-y y ^ ^ v^y uj-s— y ^ (s) 



Wanscript and Translation 


121 


y <u* 

r 

\jp I y ,**.*^ 

i-J 1^'^ t»i ^\ 

c£>s3lj) ^ 

li^ fil (Jw« <sla^ <-^J 

r 

0 Uu.;./* ^jiuJ ^4,iuc> T 

O Thou, the first and last of all created beings!^ 
burn me an Thou wilt, or cherish me an Thou wilt.^ 

3 - 

So far as in thee lies, reproach not drunkards, 

lay thou aside pretence and imposture; 

if, henceforth, thou desirest rest from this life of thine, 

do not for a moment shun^ humble folk. 

4 - 

So far as in thee lies, cause no pain to anyone, 
nor cause anyone to suffer from thy wrath ; ^ 





122 


Notes 


2 There is a parallel passage in M., 1. 3195 : " If tbu art wounded, tell no 
one of it, add wound to wound and du not complain." ® 

5 

This quatrain is C. 7, P. 219, B ii. 8, L. 5, S. P. SB. 4, N. 8, W. 7, E. C. 
5, and is no doubt the source of FitzGerald’s quatrain (F. . 74) ; 

“ Ah I Moon of my Delight, who know’stno wane 
The Moon of Heav’n is rising once agan : 

How oft hereafter rising shall she loo. 

Through this same Garden after me — in vain." 

The quatrain is altered, but hardly, I think, improvedin F.v. C/. Puvgatorio, 
xii. 84 : " Pensa che questo di mai non raggiorna." 

1. C., B. ii., P., N., and W. read " becomes surety hr." ^ 

2. C., B. ii., N , and W, read “this heart full of melincholy (or passion)." ® 
L. reads “ passionate " heart 

3. Here we have three meanings of the word mdh.^ The moon (of heaven), 
a beautiful mistress, and a month. Cf, M., 1. 74 : “ The moon wanes for love 
of thee ; every month she swoons in her stupefaction." 5 

4. N. reads bigardad ^ “ (many moons) shall revdve," etc. C. reads 

hxtdhad ki^ = (many a moon) shall shine that (shall rot, etc.)." W. reads 
bttiihadu =“ shall shine and,'" etc. This is given as a good specimen of the kind 
of verbal variations to be found between the various texts aid MSS. In future I 
do not propose to set out variations when so minute as this. 

6 

This quatrain is C 6, P. 316, B. ii. 12, L. 22. S. P. ii,B. 20, N. ii, W. 10. 

I. C., B, ii., P,, and W. read 6cAm5=best. 


(4) fiU (3) 


^1 (2) jyi. ^ (1) 


0 >* ^ ^ 

j\ jJt 


o>* r'^ y / (°) 

j\ fiL* 



Transcript and Translation 


123 





— iff' if 


f , 

J 


1 . * 


1/ /• 

sL* ^1 jyA \j^jp <^5^ 


\j\ — - <^LJ ^ 

'•^ ‘:!r W:/i — r 

1 

•0 

uXsjlj-c. pAS" <J^ 


at-? &S 



3 


if thou hast a desire for eternal peace, 
fret thyself always and harass no one.^ 

5 * 

Since no one will guarantee thee^ a to-morrow, 
make thou happy now this love-sick heart 
drink wine in the moonlight, O Moon, for the moon ^ 
shall seek us long^ and shall not find us. 


6 . 

The Qur’an, which men call the Supreme ^ Word, 
they read at intervals but not continually, 




124 


Notes 


2. khatt may mean either a measuring mark or a written line ; so, khatt-t- 
piaUh'^ may mean either the lines engraved upon the inside of a goblet to measure 
the draughts, or the edge or rim of the goblet itself. P. reads "on the rim of 
the cup ” 

3. So, dyet'^ means either a mark or sign, or a verse of the Qur’an. The 
whole line is an elaborate play upon these words 

4. C. and W,, riishanl hast^ = "(a text) is clear or luminous.” N. reads 
rawishl = " there is a precept or (divine) law.” 

5. The word niudmn having also the meaning "wine,” this line might be 
rendered, "Which in all places they read as 'wine.'” This form of pun is 
called Ihdm. Verses in praise of wine were, and are, frequently engraved round 
wine-goblets in Persia. Allusion is made by Edward FitzGerald to Jamshy d’ s seven- 
ringed cup. The seven lines alluded to were called respectively the hhatt-i-jaur,^ 
□r mark of oppression ; the hhatUi-Baghddd,^ or mark of plenty ; the khatt-i- 
basyah,"^ or mark of all wisdom; the khatt-i-siyahP or black mark ; the khatt-i-dshk,"* 
or mark of tears ; the khatUi-kusagar}^ or potter’s mark ; and the khatt-i- 
farudtnahp- or lowest mark. 

7- 

This quatrain is C 17, P. 241, B ii. 17, S. P. 19, B. 28, N. 19, W 22, in all 
of which lines 2 and 3 are transposed. It is also L. 30, which is a good deal varied. 

1. C., B- ii., L., N., and W. read = singers. P. reads " ma'shiik ” 

= lovers. 

2. C., P., B. ii., L, N, and W, read hi kmj-i-khayab'^^ =ihis desolate 
corner, i.e. a tavern, which in Persia is generally to be found in the waste 
outskirts of a town. Cf. M , 11 979-983 : " I am weak ; I was born among ruins 
and I am happy there ; but not in drinking wine. . . . He who would live in 
peace must retire, like a drunkard among ruins. 

3. P., N., and W. read "in pawn for wine,” meaning that the speaker had 
renounced his future hopes for the forbidden pleasures of this world. L. reads 
this, " Souls and hearts and faith and intellects in pawn for wine ” as the second 
line. The third and fourth lines in L. are entirely different to the other texts. 
Compare Hafiz • " Virtuous Sufi, he who, like me, pawns his garments at the 
tavern to pay his score, will never be an inhabitant of Paradise 

8 . 

This quatrain is C. 102. P. 70, B ii. 32, L. 63, S. P. 75, B 62, N. 75, W. 77. 

I. dhli-zmdnah means probably "people of this time.” 

(^) (^) ^^1 (^) (^) 

(17) 0 / jt (16) J J 

^ j 

0-* isi tr* ur* C®) 



Transcript and Translation 


125 


T 

I^IlX^ Ic^ iU.i5 
V 

^ j Lo 

c--!iI»3s£I> ^ 

JjLi jJ. JJj 

<-^Tj J^Tj) J J 
A 

c-n-v^yo JJ^ )\ <^>.«ir<5 iJjUj) Ij 

6w^ on the lines^ upon the goblet a text® is engraved^ 
which they read at all times and in all places.® 



4 


7* 

Here are we; and so is the wine, and the drinking bench 
and the ruined furnace^; 

careless of hopes of mercy, and of fears of punishment ; 
our souls, and our hearts, and our goblets, and our garments 
full of the lees of wine,® 

independent of earth and air, and fire and water. 

8 . 

In this life it is best that thou shouldst make but few friends ; 
distant intercourse with one’s fellow men ^ is good ; 




126 


Notes 


2. C. uses different phraseology to express the same meaning.* 

3. Literally, " When thou openest the eye of wisdom," etc. 


9 - 

This quatrain is C. 4S. P. 108, B. ii. 28, L. 81, S. P. 28, B. 77, N. 28, W. 32, 

E. C. 5, and may be said to have inspired FitzGerald’s quatrain (F i. 35, F. ii. 39, 

F. V. 36) ; 

I think the vessel that with fugitive 
Articulation answer’d, once did live, 

And drink ; and ah! the passive lip I kiss’d, 

How many kisses might it take — and give! 

C. 426, ending in biideh, is identical, save for line 2, which reads ; ”and was lip to 
lip with a sweet sweetheart." 

1. The other texts all read "and was enslaved by the curly head of a 
sweetheart." 1 

2. Other texts read bar giyd."^ 


10. 

This quatrain is P. 193, B. ii. 44, L. 216, B. 213, and W. 117, but I do 
not find it in C., S. P., or N. 


^ (’) 


-jO ** 4^ \Ji 6^ ^3^ 


JJU 



Transcript and Translation 


127 


cT* oi' 

tr f 1-^ ^ ik ! U 

^ ca^-^vi 


\. 


J>J'^ 



5 


that person upon whom thou leanest entirely,'^ 
when thou examinest him closely,® he is thine enemy. 


9 - 

This jug was once a plaintive lover as I am, 

and was in pursuit of one of comely face;^ 

this handle that thou seest upon its neck 

is an arm that once lay around the neck® of a friend. 


10, 

Ah, woe to that heart in which there is no passion, 
which is not spell-bound by the love of a heart-cheerer ! 




128 


Notes 


I. B. ii. and L read " without wine.” 


This quatrain is C. 30, B. ii 26, L. 133, S.P 24, B 130, N. 24, W 28, and 

in it we find the sentiment of Fitzgerald’s quatrain (F. v. 8) that made its first 

appearance in F ii., and was never altered. The more direct inspiration of 
that quatrain came, no doubt, from the 47th quatrain of this MS. [q v. post). 

1. C., B ii , L., N., and W. read nawhet,'^ which conveys rather the idea 
of a passing period or crisis, than that of a lengthy season. 

2. C , B ii , L , N., and W. read " I drink,” for '* I desire.” 

3. B ii , L , N,, and W. read kamrdniye,^ a synonym. C. reads for this 

line, “ I make a wine- drinking, for that is my life ” ; ^ but I think this must be an 
error of the scribe in my copy, his eye having wandered to the fourth line. 

4 C , B. ii., N., and W. all read “Do not reproach it," ^ i.c., the wine, 
not me. 

5. L. reads ” It is pleasant, because it is bitter ” ^ Vide post, note to q. Sg. 

6 The word "acrid” is not quite right Binning (vide p. xxv., note 2) 
observes very appositely (vol. ii., p 331, note): "The word mei-khoosh^ ex- 
presses a combination of sweet and acid flavour, common to the juice of many 
fruits and different wines, etc. It is singular that we have no English word to 
express this ; for I suppose a mongrel term like ' dulco-acid ' can hardly be 
called an English word.” 


This quatrain is C gi, P. 124, B. ii. 37, L. 41, S. P. 26, B. 38, N. 26, 
and W. 30. There is a strong suggestion of F. V. 25 (F. i. 24) in it. 

I. dast = literall3% " arriving of the hand at,” i c., power. 


^ ^ (^) ( 3 ) (2) uL-y (1) 

Ji— ftSUIj (®) SoU ^ (J) (3) (S) 



Transcript and Translation 


I2g 


“■W 'y j>A? 


u 






I 

fcj* ^1*^ 

VJ <•* L— <5L.^^T^1 ^**1 ^in-i-ifT-^i ? 




»vjj j ii^^ <ig 'J ^ 



6 


the day that thou spendest without love/ 

there is nq day more useless to thee than that day. 


II. 

To-day being the season^ of my youth, 

I desire^ wine, for thence comes my happiness;® 
reproach me not, ^ even though acrid® it is pleasant;® 
it is acrid in that it represents my life. 


12 . 

Thou hast no power ^ to-day over the morrow, 

and anxiety about the morrow brings thee only melancholy ; 




130 


Notes 


2 1 = literally, "love-sick." In C. the line ends "for your heart 

cannot persevere." ^ 

3. C., B. ii., N., and W. all read *'hak(l”^ for this, meaning "end, 
upshot, remainder," rather than as here, " value, beauty." 

13 

This quatrain is P. 194, W. 116, de T. 2, and this and No So {g. v. post), but 
especially this one, give us the original sources of FitzGerald’s quatrain (No. 4 in 
all his editions) : 

Now the New Year, reviving old Desires, 

The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires, 

Where the White Hand of Moses on the Bough 
Puts out, and Jesus from the ground suspires. 

It is one of the quatrains found only in the Bodleian MS. and in P, 

1. Vids note i tu q. 12. W. appends a note, " bakhushi dast rasl," ^ an aid to 
Joy, i.e., Spring. The line might be rendered, "Now that happiness is within 
reach of the world " 

2. z&ndah dehm means here the heart, alive in the spiritual sense of the 
mystic or initiated, as opposed to the pleasure-seekers of the world indicated 
in the first line. De Tassy (de T. 2) translates it " le spiritualiste " ; F.’s " thought- 
ful soul" is a good rendering, W.’s rendering, "And lively hearts wend forth, 
a joyous band," is, I think, unfortunate. 

3 The White Hand of Moses is a reference to the sign of his election 
given to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus iv. 6) : " And he put his hand into his 
bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, whiU as snow." We 
find references to this also in the Qur’an, in ch vii 205, and again in ch. xxvi. 32, 
where the miracle is stated to have been performed before Pharaoh: "And he 
drew forth his hand out of his bosom, and behold, it appeared white unto the 
spectators." The learned commentator A1 Beidawi says that Moses was a very 
swarthy man, and that " his hand became bright like the sun." Cf. M, 1. 453, 
a reference to this same miracle. 

4. The revivifying properties of the breath of Jesus are alluded to alike in 
Christian and Muhammadan traditions. In the Qur’an, ch. iii., we find: " I will 
make before you of clay as it were the figure of a bird ; then I will breathe thereon 
and it shall become a bird." Jellal’ud-din, commenting on this passage, refers to 
Christ's miracles of the raising of Lazarus, the widow's son, and the daughter of 
the ruler of the synagogue. We find reference hereto also in the 43rd quatrain of 
Whinfield’s text : "Since Isa breathed new life into my soul." There is a beautiful 
reference to this life-giving breath in the Masibat namah of Ferid-ud-din Attar. 
Cf. also M., 1 451 : " If someone was resuscitated by the breath of Jesus." 

14- 

This quatrain is P. 65, B. ii 135, L. 64, B. 61, W. 115, and is found 
only in the Bodleian MS. and the Lucknow lithographed edition by W. The 
objective an-m that commences the first line makes the meaning of the Bodleian 
quatrain almost hopelessly obscure, or, rather, makes literal translation impossible, 
and the il-m® which begins the ruba’i in P. does not help us. W. has grasped 
the meaning, but his charming lines do not exactly represent the Persian. 
B. ii. reads gilyd,^ "as one might say," "as it were," which makes sense and has 
the authority of age. 

1. L reads "Torment grows not on every shoot of (the Tree of) 
Knowledge."^ 

2. B. ii., L. and the Paris MS. read " Because in this path no one is 
perfect."'^ 

(^) ^ (^) J Cijj ^ (2) (1) 

ji (^) jl (^) 

0 b’ (®) sS \ji) (7) 



Transcript and Translation 


131 


i s caJi3 jl 1*1^ jJI ^Lo 


\r 


^m£>Aus>v«jw^^)^ LT* s -v^ ij Ijil^ A? 

l_ya^ J- 


CS^ 


^ 




m ■>,■>» j_l S a-I JL_^_J j_J ilS^ 



waste not thou this moment if thy heart be not mad/ 
for the value^ of the remainder of this life is not manifest. 


13- 

Now that there is a possibility of happiness^ for the world, 
every living heart ^ has yearnings towards the desert, 
upon every bough is the appearance of Moses’ hand,® 
in every breeze is the exhalation of Jesus’ breath.'^ 

14. 

For him for whom the fruit ot the branch of truth has not grown/ 
the reason is that he is not firm in the Road/ 




132 


Notes 


3. The precise meaning of this line in this place is obscure. I take it to 
mean that men shake the loose bough that bears the fruit of knowledge in vain. 
L. reads; “ Everyone has struck the loose bough with impotent hand The 
variant in the Paris MS. takes us no further. 

4 Meaning, life begins anew each day, and the Last Day will be identical 
with the Day of Creation. 


15 - 

This quatrain is one of the few that seem to be linked with a preceding or 
subsequent one. This again only occurs in the Paris, Bankipur and Bodleian 
MSS and the Lucknow edition; it is P 114, B ii 69, L 59, and B. 56, and is 
reproduced as W. 114. It formed the original of F. v 66, which did not make 
its appearance until F. ii , in which it is No. 71, the two last lines differing 
somewhat 

I sent my Soul through the Invisible, 

Some letter of that After-life to spell ; 

And by and by my Soul returned to me, 

And answered, “ I Myself am Heav’n and Hell." 

Here we have an echo of FitzGerald’s study of M. Cf 1 . 303 (Terminal Essay, 
p. 310). Vids in his own translation of that poem (L. R,, vol. ii., p. 451) ; 

I was the Sin that from Myself rebell'd ; 

I the Remorse that tow’rd Myself compell'd 

* * * * 

Sin and Contrition — Retribution owed, 

And cancell'd — Pilgrim, Pilgrimage, and Road, 

Was but Myself toward Myself and Your 
Arrival but Myself at my own Door. 

r. The Lauh u Kalam are the Tablet and Pen wherewith divine decrees of 
what should be from all time were written. Compare Qur’an, ch. Ixviii. i : 
"By the Pen and what they write, oh! Muhammad, thou art not distracted." 
Cf. M , 1 . 262 : *' The Tablet of divine decrees, and the Kalam appeared 
manifest." ^ 

16. 

This quatrain is not found elsewhere than in the Bodleian MS., and it is 
W. 113, though W.’s translation of the first two lines is more than free. We 
find an echo of it in F. v. 41, which made its appearance in its original form 
as F. ii. 55 : 

Perplext no more with Human or Divine, 

To-morrow’s tangle to the winds resign. 

And lose your fingers in the tresses of 
The Cypress-slender Minister of Wine. 

r. ruziyi niaoi ast : literally, "is my sustenance, or daily bread." 




) ts-/ ) (“) 



Transcript and Translation 


133 


j-aUia ^ 




C 

fcs-~-Qj jf)j ^j-L Lc. j-Hr^ j j^j-i 

t)J^ J c^ 

i^\y \j^ uz^iS 

r j> 

^ C\)^ J ci - w *~^_5 (*— c^ 


11 


ui.-.~~^e:*<i (^Us <);^ ajb aJjj y^a. ji 


Every one has feebly shaken with his hand the bough oj 
truth.^ 

Know that to-day is like yesterday, and that to-morrow is like 
the First Day of Creation.'*^ 

15. 

Already on the Day of Creation beyond the heavens my soul 
searched for the Tablet and Pen’- and for heaven and hell; 
at last the Teacher said to me with His enlightened judgment, 
Tablet and Pen, and heaven and hell, are within thyself.” 

16. 

Arise and give me wine— what time is this for words ? 
for to-night thy little mouth fills all my needs;’ 


• , A •• •• t ^ A 

^ • ' 




. .* A 


A , 


JUIj 


> U>/>v 




II 




134 


Notes 


2 . W reads iidwUt} i e , "turn, condition, period ’ ; but as he only collates 
the Bodleian MS , one may assume that he was deceived by a clerical error in 
his copy 


17 - 

This quatrain is C. 84, P. 126, B ii. 59, L. 193, B. 190, and W. 112, 
and is one of those (No. 6) translated by E. C. Vide post, note to q. 20. There 
is an echo in it of F. v. 21. 

1. nislm-i-noruz : literally, "the breath of the spring.” nd-vnz is the 
Persian New Year's Day (21st March), on which the Sun enters Aries and begins 
the Vernal Equinox of the old Solar year, as compared with the variable Lunar 
year, which dates from the Hejra. It is commemorated to this day by a festival, 
said to have been instituted by Jamshyd, whose calendar Omar Khayyam rectified, 
and to which he refers in F v. 57. 

2. dil-fuYuz: literally, "heart enlightening,” vide q lo, 1 2. 

3. L. reads " upon the lawn.” ^ 


18. 

This quatrain is C. 113, P. 201, B. ii. 75, L. 214, B. 21 1, and W. iii. Cf. 
Inferno, ix. 97 : " Che giova nelle fata dar di cozzo ? ” 

1. The meaning of this is " How long shall I perform empty ceremonies ? ” 
The futility of the operation is referred to in F. v. 47, q. v. suh q. 51. It is a reference 
to the game of " Ducks and Drakes,” which was known to the ancient Egyptians, 
and also to the Greeks under the name eTTocTTpa/cicr^bs : it was played with oyster- 
shells. The curious are referred to the record of Minutius Felix (a.d. 207), who 
describes the game in his preface. 

2. kmisht — a, fire-temple, or Jewish synagogue. Any place of worship, 
idolatrous from the Muhammadan point of view. 

3. L reads "I am not hopeless like the,” etc.^ 


“-jy (1) 




CJS- J-i (“) 



Transcript and Translatio7i 


135 




ji, d ‘-SJj ^ ^ 'ijy 


y- 

■^y-^ ^ yj J^ 


^ L . ^ ..^.o^-i . j ir* »^.-j ^ ^ l^.n^... 3 



give me wine, rose-coloured as thy cheeks, 

for this penitence‘s of mine is as full of tangles as thy curls. 


17- 

The spring bree^je^ blows sweetly upon the face of the rose, 
in the shade of the garden plot“ a darling's’* face is sweet; 
nothing thou canst say of yesterday that is past, is sweet, 
be happy and do not speak of yesterday, for to-day is sweet 

18. 

How long shall I throw bricks upon the surface of the sea?^ 

I am disgusted with® the idol-worshippers of the pagoda.’* 


II — 2 




Notes 


136 


4. In L. and with a slight variation in B. ii. these two lines read * 
“ To-night I am occupied with fair youths, 

I desire wine and a loved one — what are heaven and hell ? ” 


19. ^ 

This quatrain is C. 64, P. 95, B. ii. 77, L. 40, S.P. 37, N. 38, W. 42, 
and is the original of Fitzgerald’s quatrain (F. i. 62, ii. 92, v. 85) : 

Then said a second — “Ne’er a peevish boy 
Would break the bowl from which he drank in joy; 

And He that with his hand the vessel made 
Will surely not in after wrath destroy." 

r. C. is identical with this, but B. ii , N., and W. read huja ravH ddriid'^ = 
“Why should he permit," etc. 

2. B. ii. and N. read sdk 2 = “ legs " iov pai, and L. reads dast — “ hands." 

3. N. and W. read wAe/ il 2= and palms and hands.’’ C. and B ii. read 
sar =“ head " for Jt^f, which is neater than this, which can only be rendered “from 
(his) finger tips." Sir William Jones, in his delightful “ Grammar" (London, 1771 
and iSog, p. 91), justly observes ; “The noun sar has a number of different senses, 
and is therefore the most difficult word in the Persian language; it signifies the> 
head, tlu to^, thej>oi?zt, the principal thing, the air, desire, love, will, intentiozv, etc. ; and 
sometimes its meaning is so vague that it seems a mere expletive." 

4. C. reads az berai^ = “ on what account," etc. 

5. P. and L. use the synonym djzdt.^ I am not sure that “ the ingredients 
of a drink that he has compounded " would not be a better rendering of this line. 


20. 

The references to this quatrain are somewhat confusing ; compare C. 23 and 
55, B, ii. 24 and 88, L. 84, N 22 and 42, S. P. 22, B. 80 ; the nearest to it, as a 
whole, is P 162 : 

Line i is the same as L. 84, line i, and W. 26, line 2. This line is not at all in 
C. or N. 

Line 2 is the same as C. 23, line i (var.) ; L. 84, line 2 (var.) ; N, 22, line i 
(var ) ; and W. 26, line i (var.). 

Line 3 is the same as in C. 23, L. 84, N. 22 (var.), and identical with N. 42. 

Line 4 is the same in all the texts, and is repeated in N. 42. 

It contains the germ of F. v. 28-9 : “I came like water, and like wind I go," 
etc. ; and this quatrain and No. 17 doubtless suggested F. i. 37, which he eliminated 
in its complete form from all subsequent editions : 

Ah I fill the Cup : what boots it to repeat 
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet ; 

Unborn To-morrow, and dead Yesterday, 

Why fret about them if To-day be sweet 1 

Compare also the notes to q. 121. 

1. juybdr means a great river formed of many small ones, or a place 
abounding in streams, as opposed to juy,^ a small stream. 

2. This line in C., B. ii., S. P., N., and W. reads; “These two or three 
days of the period of my existence pass by."'^ 

3. This line in C., B. ii., S. P., and N, reads; “They pass as passes the 
wind in the desert." 

(^) ^ ( 3 ) ( 2 ) ( 1 ) 

O tjyy iU* Lib ^J3) (6) 

(®) (^) 



Transcript and Translation 


137 


ut^S |»L^ 

UL^ 'l^ j J»«T ^ 

\3 

Jkl ^ •-rr^'t^y 

*■ " c" ■^■■*■^ 1 ^^^ d^ 

V. 

«^T 

<ji.>j^JjCi |•_^*£> <-^y jl 

10 

Khayyam ! who can say that he will be a denizen of hell, 
who ever went to hell, and who ever came from heaven?* 

ig. 

The elements ® of a cup which he has put together, 
their breaking up a drinker cannot approve,* 
all these heads and delicate feet® — with his finger-tips,® 
for love of whom did he make them?— for hate of whom* did 
he break them ? 

20. 

Like water in a great river* and like wind in the desert,’ 
another day passes out of the period of my existence;’ 





138 


Notes 


4. This line in C , P., B. ii., and N reads " So long as I live I will not 
grieve for two days,” etc ^ 


21. 

This quatrain is C. 49, B, ii. 86, L. 94, B. go, and W. no, without 
variation. We hear its echo in F. v. 29, and it forms the original of F. i. 
and V. 30 ; ii. 33. E. C. translates it also (Ko. 8) : 

What, without asking, hither hurried whence ? 

And, without asking, whither hurried hence ! 

Oh, many a Cup of this forbidden Wine 
Must drown the memory of that insolence ! 

Cf Inferno, xxiv. iig : “ O giustizia di Dio, quant' e severa ! ” 

1. Compare F 's "First Morning of Creation.” 

2. No doubt, in composing his two first lines, FitzGerald had also in his mind 
C. 235, which is N 117 and W. 145, which may be rendered thus : 2 

In the beginning, to my surprise, he brought me into existence ; 
what do I gain from life save my amazement (at it) ? 

We come to an end of it, and do not know what was 
the purpose of this coming, and going, and being. 


This quatrain is C. 59, P 205, B. ii. 94, L. 74, S. P. 81, B. 70, N. 81, 
W. 83, and FitzGerald himself gives a translation of it in his preface (F. v., 
p. 8), an unrhymed translation made by Prof, Cowell, and forming part of a 
quotation from his Calcutta Review article, and therefore literally exact. The 
original Persian is very clear and simple, and no variation of Prof. Cowell’s 
translation is necessary or desirable. 

I An allusion to his father's trade, tent-making, from which he took his 
Takhallus or poetic name, and at the same time to his own philosophical labours. 


> 5 - 

^J^ll 


jv U (1) 



Transcript and Translation 


139 


sr i3 Ij 

.^A*Ju>SS tS^ jjij ^ ci-A-vaJw«L) ^)AP 


n 

|45l3^T 

UL^^Jyl 




j*W^ 

mJ al^l) j ^ 



grief has never lingered in my mind— concerning two days,* 
the day that has not yet come and the day that is past. 


21. 

Seeing that my coming was not for me the Day of Creation,^ 
and that my undesired departure hcncc is a purpose fixed for 
get up and gird well thy loins, 0 nimble Cup-bearer, 
for I will wash down the misery of the world in wine. 

22. 

Khayyam, who stitched at the tents ot wisdom,^ 

fell into the furnace of sorrow and was suddenly burnt ; 




140 


Notes 


2. C., B. ii , and W. read dalldl-i-ka$d^ — the broker of destiny,” and 

N. reads dalldl-i- =‘' the broker in a hurry,” as a pendant doubtless to 
mikvdz-i-' ajl = the shears of Fate in line 3. We have in this line an echo of the 
concluding line of F. v. 93, " and sold my reputation for a song.” 


23 - 

This quatrain is C. 96, P. 204, B. ii. 96, L. 82. S P. 42, B. 78, N. i^3, W. 46, 
and is the third of de T.’s examples. It is one of a not infrequently recurrent 
class of ruba’i which inspired FitzGerald’s remarkable quartette of quatrains, 
F. V. 78-81. Those quatrains, however, were directly inspired by one of the 
finest passages in the Mantic-ut-tair. (M., 11. 215-218 and 218 Us (error of num- 
bering) =220.) Compare, also, the Epistle to the Romans, ch. v. 20: "Where 
sin abounded grace did much more abound.” FitzGerald had also before him 
another ruba’i (C 65), whose concluding lines closely resemble this quatrain : 

" If I do not sin, what is Mercy to do (with itself) ? 

His Mercy is called into existence by my sins.” ® 

W. 120 is a variant of this latter quatrain. 


24. 

This quatrain is C. 75, P. 21, B ii. 108, L. i8r, S. P. 45, B. 178, N, 46, 
W. 49, and we find an echo of it in the first line of F. v. 63: "Oh, threats of 
Hell and Hopes of Paradise.” It is also the fourth of de T.'s examples. 

I. sauma'ah is distinctively a Christian cell or monastery; madyaseh, the school 
attached to a mosque; dair, a collective monastery or cloister; and kinisht, a Jewish 
synagogue. 


6 .^ (^) 




u; jjo (1) 



Transcyipt ami Translation 


141 


jkoIXjIjj J-^1 




^ j 


J^. a^.^j ^ 

dS' )_^il 

^ Js^T cU? c)'->^ 




Cll Ji^ d,v^ d 

t,t* iX.xj^J)jLi ^ 6\X0^y 



12 

the shears of doom cut the tent-rope of his existence, 
and the broker of hope^ sold him for a mere song. 


23 * 

Khayyam, why mourn thus for thy sins ? 

from grieving thus what advantage, more or less, dost thou gain ? 
Mercy was never for him who sins not, 
mercy is granted for sins — why then grieve ? 

24. 

In cell, and college, and monastery, and synagogue ^ 
are those who fear hell and those who seek after heaven ; 




142 


Notes 


2. Literally, "in the stomach of his heart.” C., B. ii., P., N., and W. 
read andyun-i-khiid} ie, " in his own bowels (or heart).” W. appends a note; 
" Meaning souls reabsorbed into the Divine essence have no concern with the 
material heaven or hsll.” I think the simplicity of the original sufficiently 
conveys the writer’s meaning. 


25 - 

In this precise form this quatrain is, as far as my researches go, only to be 
found in this MS., in B. ii. 115, and in L , where it is No, 96, with trifling 
verbal variations, and B. 92 ; but a variant so close in general form and meaning 
as to be readily referred to as identical is P. 32S, N. 82, and W. 84, and, with 
slight variations which bring it nearer to our Bodleian MS,, C. 67. This 
quatrain (C., P., N., and W.) may be rendered : 

In the season of Spring with a houri-shaped idol. 

If there be one jar of wine on the edge of the field, 

However much, according to doctrine, this may be bad, 

I am worse than a dog if I remember heaven.^ 

We have in this quatrain the sentiment of F. v. 12, 13 ; but a closer parallel 
is found to them in qq. 149 and 155 of this MS. (q. v. posi). 

I. "Thenceforth” is perhaps a liberty, but in many places in this MS. it 
seems indicated as the correct rendering of dz anki, or of dz dngdh. 

26. 

This quatrain, which hardly varies in the texts I am using for reference, is 
C. S3. B. ii. no, L. 192, S. P. 85, B. 189, N. 85, and W. 87. We have here the 
sentiment of the first two lines of F. v. 47 : 

When you and I behind the Veil are past. 

Oh, but the long long while the World shall last; 

and the last two lines of F. v. 74, which made its first appearance as F. ii. 80 : 

Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why, 

Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where. 

Vid& note to q. 29. 


^ ^ ^ 
lAi jh 


(^) 



Transcript and Translation 


143 




tj^A^ Sr^^ <1*^^ 

^l3 ^ji L^]) j] dJ LfJLa 

n 

c;i^i^ 1 j^ j ] <3^ 



13 


he who has knowledge of the secrets of God 
sows none of such seed in his heart of hearts.^ 


25 - 

If in the season of spring a being, houri-shaped, 
gives me on the green bank of a field a goblet full of wine, 
(though to everyone this saying may seem uncouth) 
a dog is better than I am if thenceforth^ I pronounce the name 
of heaven. 

26. 

Know this — that from thy soul thou shalt be separated, 
thou shalt pass behind the curtain of the secrets of God. 




144 


Notes 


I The other texts begin, line 3, mai khiiy," and line 4, " hhUsk bash ” 
The meaning is not affected. 


27. 

This is quatrain C. 79, P. 228, B ii. 112. L. 200, S P. 47, B. 197, N. 48, 
and W 51, which are identical as to the first three lines, save for unimportant 
synonyms, such as bftda 7 n for shudam in the first line, and kdri^ for chizi in the 
third 


1. W. notes here Kacr6yv>;T0s Bavarolo, Compare the opening lines of 
Shelley’s “ Queen Mab ” 

How wonderful is Death — 

Death, and his brother Sleep! 

2. C , B. ii., L, N,, and W. all read for umrahat, be-zlr-i-khdk^ = 
** beneath the earth,” and begin the line ‘*mai khilr," as passim. 


28. 

This, one of the most mystic and interesting quatrains known to me, occurs 
only in this MS., and is reproduced as W. 109. A remote echo of it is to be found 
in F. V 50 : 

"Yes, and a single Alif were the clue, 

Could you but find it — to the Treasure-house, 

And peradventure to the Master too.” 


.iJli J,;, (2) (1) 



Transcript and Translation 


145 


^ ^ Lf^y 4^ 


LiiA..a5L^ ^ ^ 

U:. <<iifixN, b i b d^ 

u:-si:^ cKjb d>'S (J^^ 


1^) j^\ ^ 



Be happy — thou knowest not whence thou hast come : 
drink wine^ — thou knowest not whither thou shalt go. 


27. 

I fell asleep, and wisdom said to me: — 

Never from sleep has the rose of happiness blossomed for 
anyone ; 

why do a thing that is the mate of death ?^ 

Drink wine, for thou must sleep for ages.”^ 

28. 

My heart said to me: — have a longing for inspired knowledge; 
teach me if thou art able.” 




146 


Notes 


I. Mr. Whinfield, instead of dividing the line after " Alif,” reads: " I said 
the A lifk af at ^ and dispenses with the verb guft ( = " it said”), and appends a note : 
"The One (God) is enough; probably a quotation. Hafiz (Ode 416) uses the 
same expression ' He who knows the One, knows all ' ” With all respect, I differ, 
for gw/if seems the necessary verb in the line, governed by dil = “the heart.” The 
Alif kafat is, however, a recognised oriental idiom, meaning “ Alif sufficeth,” 
; If., the one necessary letter, meaning “the One God,” referred to again in the 
fourth line as kes, literally “ Some-one = The One” and “ One letter,” z'.f,, the 
Alif representing God, as well as the numeral “one." The whole quatrain is 
mystical and doctrinal. 

29. 

This quatrain is C. 56, P. 63, B. ii. 103, L. 61, S. P. 43, B, 58, N 44, and 
W. 47, and we get the echo of it in F. v. 32, 34, and 47 : 

There was the Door to which I found no Key ; 

There was the Veil through which I might not see, etc. 

C/. M., 11 . 3891-2. And again : 

When you and I behind the Veil are past, etc. 

F, infused into this quatrain the sentiment of M., 11 , 146-153. (Terminal Essay, 
P- 308.) 

1. Literally, “ there is not a way for anyone." 

2. ia'hiyah (or ta'hiyat), an Arabic word signifying “ an array set out," as of 
soldiers or furniture, etc. For this word C. has shu'badeh-yijan^ = “ juggling about 
of the soul.” It will be observed that the coupling of these words gives quite a 
new construction to the whole line. 

3. C. and W. for hick read tlrah,'^ obliterating the double negative and giving 
us " save in the dark heart,” etc. B. ii. and N. are identical with this. 

4. C. and B. ii. are identical with this; but L., N., and W. begin: a/s7ls hi 
m fasanahd^ — “Pity (it is) that these fables are not short.” The line trans- 
lates literally, “Drink wine, for such fables are not short,” meaning, “It 
will take long to expound the fable (or illusion) of human life.” The Paris 
MS. reads, “ Hear thou that such fables,” etc. Cf. M., 11 . 152-3: “They have 
harassed themselves much, and reap in the end but feebleness and astoundment. ” ^ 

30. 

This quatrain is C. 108, P 155, L. 49, S. P. 51, B. 46. N. 51, and W. 54. It 
is B. ii. 497, ending in and, in it we find the germ of more than one of F.'s 
quatrains dealing with the Scevet. The whole verse is a protest against the 
mystery made of holy things by the self-styled “ initiates," 

1. C., B. ii., P,, N., and W. for raz read sirr.^ Note in these two lines the 
words siYV and its broken Arabic plural asmr, and its synonym niz, ydz-i-nihdn 
means idiomatically a profound secret, such as the place of one’s death, future 
events, etc. 

2. S. P and N. (alone) begin the line **riiz az henieh bulhuirui," ® etc., ” the 
secret must be hidden from every nightingale." P., B. ii , and L. begin “ mz az 
hemeh ablahmf etc., a slight variant of this MS. 

iUjb ^1 jlj ^6^ ^ ^5^ 



Transcript and Translation 


147 


iJZ^^ ) I ^ i <3^ 


^ 

(i^T ij) W* 

jsJ Ic^ J J ^ lS 

,>w/vvs^ (jj ^ L^ Iwsj d^ ^ 


ca,^l J Jj,b I^b-^ ^L^lj (UJfc ^1 J)l_^ 

ini.4..i!ia I (j jj b b.’^'Jj \y 0 1—^ ^ i 1^ 



I said the Alif. My heart said:^ — “Say no more. 
If One is in the house, one letter is enough.” 


29. 

No one can pass^ behind the curtain that veils the secret, 
the mind of no one is cognizant of what is there ; ® 
save in the heart of earth we have no® haven. 

Drink wine,^ for to such talk there is no end. 

30. 

The mystery^ must be kept hidden from all the ignoble, 
and the secrets must be withheld from fools.^ 




148 


Notes 


3. This line in C., P , N , and W. has the same meaning, but is constructed 
differently.^ B. ii , L and N. for hejai read hejdn-i~viardaman,‘^ giving us, " Consider 
how you yourself act towards the souls of men." L , " men and souls," ii for 
the Tziifat. 

4. chasJm means " eyes" and "hope" (vide post, q. 80, note 2). This pas- 
sage might be rendered, " Our regard (for them)," etc., sed qucsre. Cf. Dante, 
Cottvivio, iii. 8. 

31 . 

This quatrain is P. 25, C. 87, B. ii. 6 q, L. 195, 5 . P. 31, N. 31, and W. 35. 
Compare q No 95 (post). This quatrain inspired F v. 71 : 

The Moving Finger writes ; and having writ. 

Moves on ; nor all your Piety nor Wit 
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, 

Nor all your tears wash out a Word of it. 

And the same idea reappears in the parallel quatrain F. v. 73 : 

With Earth’s first Clay they did the Last Man knead, 

And there of the Last Harvest sow’d the seed : 

And the first Morning of Creation wrote, 

What the Last Dawn of Reckoning shall read. 

N. quotes in a note a parallel passage from Anwary ; — " If the affairs of this 
world are not governed by Fate, why do the projects of men turn out contrariwise 
to their desires ? Yes, it is Fate that leads men irresistibly towards good and bad, 
and that is why their endeavours come always to naught." ^ Compare Ephesians 
iii. 9: "The mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid 
in God." Cf. Paradiso, xx. 52 : " '1 giudizio eterno non si trasmuta." 

1. C., B. ii , L., N., and W. for zm pish read har /w/t^=upon the Tablet. 
Compare luh u halam in q. 15. 

2. C., B. ii., L , N., and W. read dsudah,^ meaning the same. 

3. P , C,, B. ii., L., N., and W. read andar tahdir^=lu Destiny. 


32. 

This quatrain is B. ii. 129, L. 105, B. loi. I do not find it in C., N., or 
W., but it is the fifth of the examples given in de T.’s pamphlet. 

1. fasl-i-giil, the time of flowers (esp roses) = the Spring. 

2. hts}it = a. sown field as opposed to a wild prairie ; so F. in F. v. ii., " the 
sown," vide qq 40 and 45 The lab-i-hsht is the raised embankment of gra.ss round 
a cultivated field. Compare the passage in Jami’s Beharistan (6th Garden) ; "We 
went out one spring day with a company of friends and acquaintances to enjoy the 
air of the fields and obtain a view of the desert." 

3. Literally, " With one, two, three people," etc 

4 sirisht means either "shaped" or "natured. L. for dhl reads tdzeh,'^ 
giving us " with a few yowig houri-shaped playmates." 

(^) lsW ^ (^) 

« ‘r (^) 

ui..vai| ILasi. & U. r> 6 ^ 

tp (7') ^oji (0) (^) ey (^) 



Transcript and Translation 


149 


^ dS" j^Ijj 

<.:LA.;^|id Jjb dUJfc ^1 


n 


e)biU j5u^. 

<» g b i.Xj^ j) ^Lk d^i.^ ^<^3 

JIcVJ cilw^J b d^l ^ J^l J)J|^ 
ta-wa 5Ji^^ U 




c— JS j^^oj 

,Ji9^ 


Consider thine actions towards thy fdlow men:’* 
our hopes ^ must be concealed from all mankind. 

31- 

From the beginning’^ was written what shall be ; 
unhaltingly the Pen writes, and is heedless^ of good and bad; 
on the First Day'’ He appointed everything that must be — 
our grief and our efforts are vain. 

32. 

In the spring,^ on the bank of the river and on the edge 
of the field,’* 

with a few companions'* and a playmate houri-shaped/ 

« 


•• «” 


'l V 

I r. /. • " ( 

it>\, 




i6 


12 




N otes 


150 


5. Independent alike of Islam and Judaism, the two principal creeds 
followed in Iran 

33 

This quatrain is C. go, P. 148, L. igg. S P go, B. 196, N. 90, W. 92, and 
inspired F. v 67 : 

Heav’n but the Vision of fulfilled Desire, 

And Hell the Shadow from a Soul on fire. 

Cast on the Darkness into which Ourselves, 

So late emerged from, shall so soon expire. 

He got his verse mainly, however, from M., 1. 1866. (Terminal Essay, p. 311.) 

1. N.and W. for te?i read existence — a frequent interchange in the MSS. 

2. Jihun = the river Oxus. Compare line 399 in “Prometheus Bound”; 
Sa.KpvcrLcrraKTOV aTr ocrcrajv pafitvcov et/3oju,6va peos Trapetdv votlols erey^a 
Trayats = ” shedding from tender eyes a trickling river of tears, I wet my cheeks 
with fountains of rain.” 

3 C., P., L., and W. read chashm} giving us “ my strained eyes.” 

4. It is interesting to note the interchange of “f” for “p" in Persian. 
Firdils - paradise ; Farsi = Persian ; Pm = fairy ; Farsang = parasang (Gr ), etc. 

34- 

This quatrain is C. 51, P. 323, L. 95, B. 91, and W. 108, and contains the 
original inspiration of F. i. 12 : 

“How sweet is mortal sovran' ty ! ” think some : 

Others, “ How blest the Paradise to come ! ” 

Ah, take the Cash in hand and wave the Rest, 

Oh, the brave music of a dista?it Drum ! 

As F. ii. 13, it practically reached its final form ; 

Some for the glories of this World ; and some 
Sigh for the Prophet’s Paradise to come ; 

Ah, take the Cash and let the Credit go, 

Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum ! 

1. L and W. read mara chu s^ir^ for lehisht-i-Adan, meaning “ for me like a 
nuptial banquet with houris,” etc. Paris MS. has a synonymous variant. 

2 The second line in C reads, “ And that that after-life will be pleasant 
with music and brightness ” 




jy^ ^ (“) 


^ ( 1 ) 



Transcript and Translation 


T 51 


JjAsiw* J ^S^J^T 

rr 

>U 

jL# sJ|^b t-SAuis) j) ^ \^yiri^ 
us-^—oL* ^ 

ur^-oL* ^ 

rp 

« J , ^ C&>«vU^ kVjJ 

«vA«vvv5o^i>. t^T 



bring forth the cup, for those that drink the morning draught 
are independent of the mosque and free from the synagogue. 


33 « 

The heavenly vault is the girdle of my weary body,^ 
Jihun“ is a water-course worn by my filtered tears/ 
hell is a spark from my useless worries, 

Paradise'^ is a moment of time when I am tranquil. 


34 - 

They say that the garden of Eden ^ is pleasant with houris : 
I say that the juice of the grape is pleasant.'^ 


12—-2 




152 


Notes 


3. This is W. s line, which cannot be improved upon. It is a common 
Persian proverb. Compare the last line of q. 40 (post). L. for be-dar reads 
bc-shu, synonymous. 

4 C., L., and W. for birader read shinudaii 1 = to hear, 

5. Compare q. 125, 1. 4. This line refers to the kettledrums suspended at 
the gates of oriental palaces to summon soldiers, etc Compare Gulistan, ch. v., 
story 20 : 

Till thou hearest the morning call from the Friday mosque, 

Or the noise of kettledrums on Atabek's palace-gate. 2 

Compare also the distich in FitzGerald’s translation of M. in L. R., vol ii., 
p. 463 

Or lust of worldly Glory — hollow more 
Than the Drum beaten at the Sultan's Door. 

Cf. M., 11. 2162 and 2753. (Terminal Essay, p. 312.) 


35- 

This quatrain is C. 80, P. 284, L. 188, B. 1S5, and W. 107. In the first two 
lines we recognise the sentiment of F. i. 23, v. 24, which remained unaltered in 
all the editions ; 

Ah ! make the most of what we yet may spend, 

Before we too into the Dust descend; 

Dust into Dust, and under Dust to lie, 

Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and — sans End ! 

And in the last line we recognise the last lines of F. v. 63, which alone remain as 
the last lines of F. i. 26 This (F. i. 26) is undoubtedly inspired by this ruba’i : 

Oh ! come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise, 

To talk ; one thing is certain, that life flies ; 

One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies — 

The Flower that once has blown for ever dies. 

It occurs also as in the last line of F. ii., 23, which was omitted in F. iii. and iv 
Cf. Purgatorio, xiv. 86- “O gente umana, perche poni il core la ’v’ e mestier di 
consorto divieto? ” 

I. It is open to conjecture whether this word should be read gil^ = clay, or 
gul ^ = roses ; and in C. there is a zamnmh, making it gul ; * and W. afldxes a 
hasmh, making it gil.^ Non nostrum tantas mnponere htes. 

36- 

This quatrain is B. 93 ; it is found by W. only in this MS. and the Lucknow 
edition, where it is 97, and it is reproduced as W. 106. 

I. Literally, "This is your very interest from the period of your youth.” 
L. reads " your very self.” “ 

^ tiU Ij ^ (^) (^) 

^ 

(S) ^ (4^ (3) 



Tmnscript Mid Translation 


153 


^ jSi jjii 




J>b cji* y 


n 

• • 

cr. ^ 1 Uk ^ 

J 1 <-K-*XoUi. 

'“Tri ’»:f 

'"inS'./ .r >y LiU-'t' 

• ^ 

Hold fast this cash and let that credit g 

i8 

■0,^ 


for the noise of drums, brother,** is pleasant from afar.® 


35 - 

Drink wine, for thou wilt sleep long beneath the clay* 
without an intimate, a friend, a comrade, or wife ; 
take care that thou tell’st not this hidden secret to anyone : — 
The tulips that are withered will never bloom again. 

36 - 

Drink wine, for this is life eternal, 

this is thy gain from the days of thy youth ; * 




154 


Notes 


2. W 's text reads (from the Lucknow edition ) . ''It is the season of roses and 
wine and drunken friends.” i 


3. i.e , ” for that is the only thing worth living for.” 


37 - 

I do not find this quatrain in C., L., N., or W , nor does F. appear to have 
used it. 

1, Note the objective m governing all that goes before it. 

2. Literally, “ after my heart,” i e., ” in my heart's opinion.” 

38. 

This quatrain is C. 81, P. 261, L 189, S P. 93, B. 186, N. 93, and W 95. 
and we find in it the sentiment of F. v. 61, which made its first appearance as 
F ii. 63, and was never altered, though F. had C. 81 before him when he made his 
first edition ; 

Why, be this Juice the growth of God, who dare 

Blaspheme the twisted tendril as a Snare ? 

A Blessing, we should use it, should we not ? 

And if a Curse, — why, then. Who set it there ? 

Mr. Dole (D , p. iiS) derives this from a quatrain N. 226 and W. 265, but he 
had not studied the Calcutta and Bodleian MSS. It is true that F. had N. before 
him when he made his second edition, but this C. and B. quatrain is nearer the 
sentiment of his own, and N.’s translation takes unwarrantable liberties with 
his text. 





Transcript and Translation 


155 




rv 

c:i.'VA-s^l ^y* 

c:^ » * 1 pLk_,4,-Jt5 

^1 iSJ ^1=*.^ J^?J. 

^l£> j-vd j)\ 

rA 

^ J>' 


/^U bh 0 \S^L>^ 


#■ / 










19 


a season of roses, and wine, and drunken companions”- 
be happy for a moment for this is life ! “ 


37 - 

Give me wine which is a salve for my wounded heart, 
it is the boon companion of those who have trafficked in love ; ^ 
to my mind” the dregs of a single, draught are better 
than the vault of heaven which is the hollow of the world's 
skull. 

38- 

I drink wine, and my enemies from left and right 

say : — “ Do not drink wine, for it is the foe of religion.” 



Notes 


156 


I. A reference to the permission given to Muhammadans in ch ii of the 
Qur’an and elsewhere to slay all foes of Islam. 


39 - 

This quatrain is B. 55, and is found by W. only in this MS. and in the 
Lucknow edition, where it is 58, and it is reproduced as W. 105. 

I. L begins, “Wine! thou art a melted ruby."i All the texts teem with 
references to the ruby that “ kindles in the vine ” (F v. 5), and the idea of the 
“ molten ruby " is commonly recurrent in oriental verse Compare the passage in 
the Beharistan (7th Garden) : 

Wine is said to be a molten ruby, 


Whoever beheld that cornelian wine 
Cannot discern it from melted cornelian ; 

Both are of one essence, but in nature, 

The one is solid, the other fluid. 

The one powdered colours the hand, the other tasted mounts to the head. 

2 Literally, “ that is laughing with wine ” 

3. L. begins, “Cup, thou art a charm (or hope). The change in these 
two lines from the second to the third person is noteworthy. 


40. 

This quatrain is C. 107, L. 89, S. P. 92, B. 85, N. g2, and W. 94, and we get 
again in it the images of the earthly cash and heavenly credit (F. v 13), and the 
sensuous repose of the desert verses (F, v. ii and 12) before referred to. 

I. N. begins hud — *' was an inhabitant of Heaven “ ; whilst C. and W. read 
“Made an inhabitant of pleasant Heaven or," etc.^ L. reads kerd for guft, 
'*Mad& me to dwell,” etc. 


U 


i j*' 'j/ (®) y (“) i/* y (*) 



Transcript and Translation 


157 


^ <iij|^ 


r"i 


*■ " ^ *««i*.*.j i l3^ 

cju^psvJ I — fs ^Jf^ ^ I f A,i. >..4.*,«*r^. 

~j^^. J J'^ Jj dt^ I 

t=^- 


ca.A.^a^.*^ |4.3 1 Jj 


When I knew that wine was the foe of 
I said : — ^'By Allah! let me drink the 
lawful ,’’ 1 

39 - 

Wine is a melted ruby^ and the cup is the mine thereof ; 
the cup is a body ^ and its wine is the soul thereof ; 
that crystal cup that is bubbling over ^ with wine 
is a tear in which the heart’s blood is hidden. 

40. 

I know not whether he who fashioned me 
appointed^ me to dwell in heaven or in dreadful hell, 




/ 

J LiO 


• • r 






20 


religion, 

foe’s blood, for that is 




158 


Notes 


2. Literally, “an idol." 

3. C., L , N., and W. for “food" and “wine ’’ read “goblet” 1 and “lute,” ^ 
from which F. doubtless got his “Thou beside me singing in the wilderness.” 

4 t.e , “ These are what I am enjoying (as ready cash) in this life, whilst 
you are only expecting them (credit) in Heaven.” 


41. 

This quatrain is C. 62, P. 45, L. 80, S. P 95. B 76, N. 95, W. g6, and 
contains the inspiration for F. v. 72 (F. i. 52) ; 

And that inverted Bowl they call the Sky, 

Whereunder crawling coop’d we live and die, 

Lift not your hands to It for help, for It 
As impotently moves as you or I. 

Cf. M., 1 . 24 : “ The sky is like a bird that flutters in the direction commanded by 
God.” (Terminal Essay, p. 308.) Compare q. 154. 

1. N. reads “Everything good.” ^ 

2. mhdd is “ a thing placed,” therefore nihdd-i-hashav = h}im2.iL nature. 

3. hazd and hadav : “The decree existing in the divine mind from all 
eternity, and the execution and declaration of the decree at the appointed time ; 
the Recording Angels ” (Steingass, Diet.). 

4. C. and N. read dar rdh-i-ishft, ^ in the way of (divine) love. 


42. 

This quatrain is C. 114, P, 149, L. 215, S. P. 98, B. 212, N. 98, and W. 99. 
We get in it an echo of q. 10, aiite. 

I. wamki-zi-'ishk is eminently symbolical. It may be interpreted “ a love 
story ” ; so in French, “ une piigc d'cimour." N. and W. read for this tarahl-zi-' ahl,^ 
“a joy from wisdom”; whilst C. and L. have rakami-zi-'ahl,^ “the study of 
wisdom,” and the verb is in the negative."^ 


j (^) (*) (^) (1) 

(0 J*® j (®) 



Transcript and Translation 


I5Q 


d^^^jci ^1 


jLs .3 6^ ^yjj 
U^X9 JkI dS t^^Lia 

iJilP ^JolS* C^ ^ 

2S^ la^ j^, J^y-^ y^ y^ 


rv 

J'^ y. ^ 

]jSy ^Lo y^y ^yyy ‘■^ 



blit some food, and an adored one,'-^ and wine,^ upon the ^een 
bank of a field — 

all these three are cash to me : thine be the credit-heaven ! ^ 


41. 

The good^ and the bad that are in man’s nature,^ 
the happiness and misery that are predestined^ for us — 
do not impute them to the heavens, for in the way of Wisdom ^ 
those heavens are a thousandfold more helpless than thou art. 

42. 

Whosoever has engrafted the leaf of love^ upon his heart, 
not one day of his life has been wasted; 




i6o 


Notes 


2 C , P., N., and W for tot read khud ; tc., Ins own comfort. L reads 
idn, t e , “ the comfort of his soul ” 

43 - 

This quatrain is C 47, B ii 105, L. no, and W 104 (W. does not collate 
C.), and it is included as E C. 4. It is the original of one of F.’s most beautiful 
verses, F. v. ig (F. i 18) : 

I sometimes think that never blows so red 
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled ; 

That every Hyacinth the Garden wears 
Dropt in her Lap from some once lovely Head. 

Compare Herrick's verse (Hesperides) ; 

In this little Urne is laid 
Prewdence Baldwin (once my maid), 

From whose happy spark here let 
Spring the purple violet. 

1. B. ii , L and C. read, " In every desert where there is a tulip-bed." ^ 

2. B. ii., L. and C. read, "Those tulips have come there from the blood 
of a king.” 2 

3. L. and W. for shdkh read barg^ = leaf. 

4. This admiration for moles is universal in the East. Compare Beharis- 
tan, 4th Garden ; " He fell madly in love with her attractions, distracted by her 
curls and her mole.” And so Hafiz: 

If that lovely maid of Shiraz would accept my heart, 

I would give for the black mole on her cheek the cities of 
Samarcand and Bokhara * 


44. 

This quatrain is C. 109, P. 165, L. 83, B. 79, and W. 103. 

I. Literally, ” Sit not secure." 

Jo 0^1 ut 0 T J^\ ji (®) 



Transcript and Translation 


i6i 


Uj—iis b 

pr 

cS-iuijJ jiLid j-b 

Pf. 

^|j 

^ ^ ^.1 


either he strives to meet with God’s approbation, 
or he chooses bodily ^ comfort and raises the wine-cup. 

43 - 

Everywhere that there has been a rose or tulip-bed,^ 
there has been spilled the crimson blood of a king;^ 
every violet shoot^ that grows from the earth 
is a mole that was once upon the cheek of a beauty.^ 

44 * 

Be prudent, for the means of life are uncertain ; 
take heed,^ for the sword of destiny is keen. 





i 62 


Notes 


45- 

It wil be observed that this quatrain, which is not to be found in C., N., or 
W , is practically a paraphrase of q. 40 {a 7 ite). Line 2 is practically identical with 
line 4 of q. 40, whilst line 4 is identical with line 4 of q 18 (a 7 ite) The quatrain is 
probably spurious. Compare also q. 32 [ante) and q. 76 {post). P. 221 is almost 
identical, and L. has a corresponding quatrain. No 37 (B, 34), the first three lines 
of which read : 

A goblet, and wine, and a cup-bearer on the bank of the field; 

Let all these be mine, and mayst thou enjoy all heaven ; 

Hearken not to discourse concerning heaven and hell from anyone. 1 

1. See note 2, q. 32, mttc. 

2. Compare q. 40, 1. 4. "Cash” = present enjoyment; "credit” = 
future bliss. It will be observed that, though the Persian is here practically 
identical, the rendering is different. The laws of Persian prosody, to which 
Omar ever paid strict attention, require that lines 2 and 4 should not end with a 
word identical in sound and meaning, be-kisht, therefore, at the end of line 2, is 
the third person singular of the aorist tense of the verb hishta^i^ = to rob. 

3. Compare q. 18, 1. 4. 


46, 

This quatrain is P. 1S3, B, 225, and W. 135 (taken by him from this MS. 
and the Lucknow edition, where it is No. 228), and is one of the pair (with q. 94, 
post) from which F. derived his allusion to chess in F. v. 6g. Cf. also C. 336. 

I. To the Persian the Chinese type of countenance was singularly beauti- 
ful. chin means also porcelain (or a porcelain idol). Compare Beharistiin (7th 
Garden) : 

" When my love arranged the entangled hyacinth lock of hair, 

She placed the stamp of envy upon the heart of Chinese painters ’ 


( 2 ) ji J ( 1 ) 

} Cl— 



Transcript and Translation 


‘^>-T aS" 


fb 

<— ^Ij <®Aj 

c ** iJsJIj 1^- 

^JJl J C:* (JJ 

Jw.T (SS’^ <1^ 


r-1 


_>J aal^j y 

CA aAjdo y 

23 

If fortune place almond-sweets in thy very mouth, 
beware! swallow them not, for poison is mingled ’therein. 

45- 

One jar of wine and a lover’s lips, on the bank of the sown 
field ^ — 

these have robbed me of cash, and thee of the credit.® 

Some are pledged to heaven or hell, 

but who ever went to hell, and who ever came from heaven ? ® 

46. 

O thou, whose cheek is moulded upon the model of the 
wild rose, 

whose face is cast in the mould of Chinese idols,^ 





164 


Notes 


2. W. says the Lucknow edition for Bahil reads mail (= “fond"). It may 
do so in his copy, but it certainly does not in mine, where it reads distinctly 
matl-ra}^ which neither I, nor anyone I have been able to consult, understand. 
shah- 77 iat means “ check-mate" at chess, but the termination forbids us to seek for 
an interpretation in this analogue. Mr. Ellis of the British Museum suggests 
that the w is inserted in error, and that the scribe meant to say Jtl, the ancient 
name for the province of Astrakhan The suggestion is an interesting and 
valuable one At the same time, I think it not improbable that the error is in 
my (later) edition of L., for we find this word mail in B., which was taken from 
the 187S edition of L to which W. refers. 

3. The Persian chessmen referred to are respectively, asp — horse = knight ; 
ntkh = cheek = castle, whence our term rook (^) ; pll = elephant = bishop ; Uzak = 
flag = pawn ; and fayzln= queen. The pawns are often csMed piadeJigan ^ = footmen. 
P. and W. give pll, which is the Persian, instead of pll, which is Arabic. 
Owners of the familiar ivory chessmen that come from the East will recognise 
the above terms. The game is called in Persian shatranj,'^ '■ the hundred cares," 
or shah-i-ranj " the royal care," or shash rafig,^ “ the six colours, or ranks." 

47- 

This quatrain varies a good deal in the texts. It is C. 123, P. 51, L. 229, 
S. P, 105, B. 226, N. 105, W 134, and E C 2, and it inspired F v. 8, which made 
its first appearance as F. ii 8, and was never altered . 

Whether at Naishapur or Babylon, 

Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run. 

The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop, 

The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one. 

This was doubtless one of the quatrains of which F. was “reminded’ by N.’s 
edition, for “ Naishapur " occurs only in that text (of those before F). C. and 
L., like this, have " Baghdad." 

1. W for chwi 'umr Jteml ravad reads chuii jan ha-lah cmad^ = “since the 
soul comes to the lips," a familiar oriental figure for the approach of death. Note 
F. ii. 46, V. 43 : 

And, proffering his Cup, invite your Soul 
Forth to your Lips to quaff — you shall not shrink ; 

and hundreds of quotable passages from the Persian poets ; as, for instance, in 
the Gulistan, chap. i. story 16, “Many a man was at the point of death. 

CJ. M., 11. 340, 3031, 2501, et passim 

2. The texts we are using are equally divided The texts of N. and W. 
give us Nishapur, and L and the MSS. Baghdad. 

3. Balkh was one of the capitals of Khurasan Being a rhyme word, it 
never alters ; but it is not surprising that F. discarded it for the more euphonious 
Babylon. Babil (Babylon) and Baghdad are often interchanged as synonyms 
in oriental literature. 

4. The readings of these two first lines vary very much, beyond indeed the 
power of perfect collation in a note The first line of C., L., and N. runs ■ 
“ Since life passes what is sweet and what is bitter."^ Line 2 of N. is line i of W. 
There is a parallel passage to be found in the Gulistan, chap. i. story i : 

(r/ifi notes to page 165 are continued on page 166.) 



Transcript and Translation 


165 


IjJjI] (tsa sjIj y 


pv 


jljsiJ ii_y 

^ v' ji/ .y^ ^'*^' 

dJ ^1 kdjT ^ .va ^1 


PA 


idw^ J >di^ d— ^ I ^ ' I 

d~~v^4j6 «i^,.<;‘^l dS'L^I^ 


24 

yesterday thy amorous glance gave to the Shah of Babylon^ 
the moves of the Knight, the Castle, the Bishop, the Pawn, 
and the Queen.® 

47 - 

Since life passes ; ^ what is Baghdad ® and what is Balkh ? ® 
When the cup is full, what matter if it be sweet or bitter ? ^ 
Drink wine, for often, after thee and me, this moon 
will pass on from the last day of the month to the first, and 
from the first to the last.® 

48. 

Of those who draw the pure date wine ^ 
and those who spend the night in prayer,® 

13 




1 V vt 


)t>\ 


ff> /i/(» 




i66 


Notes 


When the pure soul is on the point of departure, 

What if one dies on a throne or on the face of the earth.s 

5. Here will be observed an echo of F.’s concluding quatrains The P. 
MS. for " Drink wine ! ” reads the equally recurrent "Be happy I " 

48. 

This quatrain is P. 214, B 283, and W. 222. derived from this MS., and 
No. 287 of the Lucknow edition. 

I L. reads skerab for ncihlz = “pure wine ” P. reads “ continual draughts 
of date wine “ = mudant. Vide note 2, q. 117* 

2. Literally, “and those who by night are always at the Mihrab." (Vide 
q 2, note I ) L. for hemzsheh gives the synonym m'liddm.^ There are other equally 
unimportant variations in L. 

(5) iSSSj yi-i. (*) gij (3) gijUu, (2) (^) 

C) ish' l 5 ^ (^) 

(S) jh Sjs. ^ 

(11) U (1®) ^1^ (9) 


3, i,e.t “Not one is sure; all are at sea.” Cf. M., 1 387. “I trust that 
Thou wilt rescue me from this dark water, and re-establish me in Thy path.” ^ 
Cf. Shahbistari, G'ulshan i raz, 1. 27. 

4. ie , God. Compare F. v. 51 : “ They change and perish all— but He 
remains.” 

49. 

This quatrain is C. 140, P, 127, B, ii. 153, L. 264, B. 260, W. 217, and 
is a good specimen of the quatrains that have “ carpe diem ” for their text. 
There is a suggestion also in it of q. 68. 

1. puyidan means literally “ to run to and fro, to search.” 

2. B. ii. and L. read “ this single moment of companionship.” ^ 

3. Cf. Paradiso, xxvi. 137, “ I’uso de’ mortali e come fronda in ramo, che 
sen va, ed ultra viene.” 

50- 

This quatrain occurs only in this MS. and L. 262 (in which there are unim- 
portant variations), and is reproduced in W. 216. It contains, I think, the 
inspiration of F. v. 54 : 

Waste not your Hour, nor in the vain pursuit 
Of this and that endeavour and dispute ; 

Better be jocund with the fruitful Grape, 

Than sadden after none, or bitter Fruit. 

I. literally “discernment.” 

( 1 ) 



Transcript and Translation 


167 


jO=j 

^<i3 C£uci5^ du*J^ ^1 ^ 




not one is on the dry land, all are in the water.^ 
One is awake the others are asleep. 


49. 

This intellect that haunts^ the path of happiness 
keeps saying to thee a hundred times a day : — 

“ Understand in this single moment of thine existence,^ that 
thou art not 

like those herbs which when they gather them spring up again,*’ 


50. 

Those who are the slaves of intellect and hair-splitting,^ 
have perished in bickerings about existence and non-existence; 

13—2 




i68 


Notes 


2. W. reads hakhabavan = " wise ones," but this is not in this MS., to which 
alone he refers in his note. 

3. The obscurity of the meaning here baffles satisfactory translation. 

51- 

This quatrain is C. 129, P. 55, B. ii. 158, L. 232. S. P. 157, N. 157, W. 176, 
de T. 17, and doubtless inspired F. v. 47: 

When You and I behind the Veil are past, 

Oh, but the long long while the World shall last, 

Which of our Coming and Departure heeds, 

As the Sea’s self should heed a pebble cast. 

It varies considerably in the texts under consideration, excepting in B. ii., 
which is identical. FitzGerald's last line contains an echo of the first line of 
q. 18 (vids anU). 

1. N. reads for this line, "Fromwy creation the Age (derived) no advantage." ^ 
C. and P. are identical with N , preserving gardunrd for dawrdnrd. 

2. C., P., N., L., and W. read '•btirdan " 2 for "raftan," which gives a passive 
rather than an active meaning to the process of departure. 

3. C., P., L., N., and W. ready^A ujaldlish^ ioxjemdl wajdhash, which conveys 
the same idea. 

4. N. reads this line (in conformity with his line i), “ What might be the 

object of my creation or extinction." ^ C., L., and P. retain the expression 
az on account of," as in this MS. 

52. 

This quatrain varies a good deal in the texts. The parallel quatrains are 
C. 117, B. ii. 148, L. 358, S. P. 112, and N. 112, and it forms the sixth of de T.’s 
examples from this MS. L. 371 and B. 367 are corresponding qq. 

1. i.e.t " The Path of (Divine) Love leads to destruction," x.e., to 
spiritual annihilation. C, and N. for andar rdh-i-ishk read az defter4‘Umr^ = 
"from the Book of Existence." Compare Hafiz: 

The path of love is a path to which there is no end, 

In which there is no remedy for lovers but to give up their souls.® 

2. C., B. ii., L., and N. for chang read the weaker form " hands." 
Cf. M., 11. 1059-1062. "If thou becomest as I say, thou wilt not be God, but 
thou wilt be annihilated in Him."^ 

3. Literally, " we must perish." 

jliT yj- (®) O Id- ) W 

0^ 6,^1 jf£> 1®»»T 



Transcript and Translation 


i6g 


O*^ 




J^jii JUc. j,j 

fiyj^ jj -j^ jy 

^ J^. i^J Ji ,^J-T 


c>Y 


^5^®- &j ^jj| 
J^ll ^ Jr^l <jsSjj^ jJ 


go, thou ignorant one,^ and choose father grape-juice, 
for the ignorant from eating dry raisins have become like unripe 
grapes themselves? 

51- 

My coming was of no profit to the heavenly sphere,^ 
and by my departure ^ naught will be added to its beauty and 
dignity ; ® 

neither from anyone have my two ears heard 
what is the object of this my coming and going.^ 

52. 

We must be effaced in the way of love,^ 
we must be destroyed ^ in the talons of destiny 










j6h 




26 




170 


Notes 


4 B ii. and N for farigh ma~mshin read khush khush mam^ = gaily to us. 
This line in C. reads, " Whenever your head rises superior to wisdom." ^ 

5 B ii and N. are identical with this, but C. reads, "The end is that 
we must go below the dust,"^ in which we recognise the line F. v. 24, 1. 3, 
" Dust into Dust and under Dust to lie." 


53- 

This quatrain is P. 310, L. 296, S P. 122, B. 292, N. 122, and W. 149. It 
contains, like many other quatrains, the key-note of the whole poem. 

1. Note the ironical contrast between kamdam-i-pukhta, "the mature friend," 
and may-i-kham, "the new wine." L. reads the line, "To-day that is the end 
of existence nothing remains but the cup." * This line of B. is line 4 in L. Vide 
q. 117, note 3. 

2. Literally, " in our hand " or " to our hand." 


54- 

I do not find this quatrain elsewhere than at B. ii 144, which is identical 
with it. Its first line, coupled with q. 95 (q. v), gave FitzGerald the inspiration 
for his F. v. 71, and the rest of the quatrain suggested no doubt to him q. 107 
of F. ii., a quatrain that appeared in that edition only ; 

Better, oh better, cancel from the Scroll 
Of Universe one luckless Human Soul, 

Than drop by drop enlarge the Flood that rolls 
Hoarser with Anguish as the Ages roll. 

It will be observed that F. missed the significance of the original. 

1. Literally, "does not become of another colour." Compare the Arabic 
expression, "It is Written • 

2. jigar hhun means literally, "liver-blood," a universal orientalism to 
signify profound grief 


jty- 'y (®) 
(5) 


£iJUA« 

fikXiU.i I*!©*, (^) 


Ir* (^) 

OUlb ^ 



Transcript a?td Translation 


/ LiiJ 

jjli aj.^a 


t>r 

JjLi |.li ^ c)>^' 

ljjL*3 |•^^S. 

^\ c^^ps ^ 

Jj Ui [*W' uiMtui J\S d,i 


bf 


yijiJ ^ ^'^Jj^j>J 


27 

0 sweet-faced Cup-bearer, sit thou not idle,^ 
give to me water, for dust I must become.® 

53- 

Now that nothing but the mere name of our happiness 
remains, 

the only old friend that remains is new wine;^ 

withhold not the merry hand from the wine-cup 

to-day that nothing but the cup remains within our reach.^ 

54- 

What the Pen has written never changes,^ 
and grieving only results in deep affliction ; ^ 





172 


Notes 


3. A somewhat similar expression, Mwt hhurdan, "to eat blood”; t£.,to 
suffer affliction. 

4. i.e.t "You do not influence any part of your destiny.” Compare 
Matthew vi. 27: ''And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto 
his stature” (or "age”). — R&viscd Version. 


55 - 

This quatrain is not to be found in any of the texts under consideration, 
and it is not surprising that it has been avoided in the European editions, for 
it is one of the most obscure and involved quatrains in the collection. I am 
indebted to Mr. Whinfield and Dr. E. Denison Ross for my rendering. 

1. mcdluli signifies *' sick people,” here taken to refer to the morally 
diseased. It might be translated "the love-sick.” 

2. There is a play upon words here: mashguli, besides meaning "occu- 
pation” or "commerce,” is also a Sufi term, meaning "having spiritual concen- 
tration.” 

3. The Darvish is a religious mendicant ; the word (like that denoting fakir- 
dom) has a secondary meaning — ” poor, indigent.” (Vide q. 119, post.) 

4. Another instance of Omar's affection for the use of words of similar sound. 
mahhiili is a term applied to Darvishes and the Faithful generally; i.e., the 
accepted (of God) — the Elect. 


56. 

This quatrain is P. 79, B. 241, and is W. 215, drawn from this MS., and 
No. 244 of the Lucknow edition. There is an echo of F. v. 46 in it, but this 
was, no doubt, inspired by a quatrain in Nicolas’ text (N. 137, W. 161), as F. 
himself suggests. I think that the poet intends in this quatrain to compare 
mortals (earthly bodies) with the planets (heavenly bodies). 

I. Literally, "and come again with time.” 



Transcript and Translation 


173 


J*S> ^ 

5^)la5 tsAj 


66 


S-iL« Jj ^^1 

lU^ (3^ 

^j— ^ 

>'y^^ iJc6»Ij 

6^1 


>3-4|^T ‘^jlj cInJls <J^ l^T 

jilj b ) Js-i-iT 


even though, all thy life, thou sufferest anguish,® 
not one drop becomes increased beyond what it is.^ 

55 - 

0 heart, for a while seek not the company of the frail ones ; ^ 
cease for a while to be engrossed with the commerce ® of love. 
Frequent the thresholds of the darvishes® — 
perhaps thou mayest be accepted for awhile by the accepted 
people.^ 

56. 

Those who adorn the Heavens for a fragment of time, 
come, and go, and come again as time goes on ; ^ 


Ji^lj 

•* 

j l£ b 

^ • •* 

28 




174 


Notes 


2. L., for " in the pocket of," reads " beneath the." 2 

3. L. reads " who in God's own time will rise up."^ P. reads "who until 
they are annihilated will come again." s 


57- 

This quatrain is P. 298, L. 313, B. 309, and W. 236. The meaning is very 
obscure, and is involved in verbal gymnastics 

1. Literally, "fallacies." 

2. This contracted " if " comes from the beginning of the next line. 

3. Literally, " after this." 

4. These latter two lines depend upon the'double meaning of hhuvils = " cock " 
and "jar." W. reads azjah ^ (meaning "lime ") for ayra in the last line, and renders 
the two lines : 

If they will shut their mouths with lime, like jars. 

My jar of grape juice I will then forego. 

He appends the following note . *' B. reads arm, of which I can make no sense. 
lay fark idham, ' I will put aside’ ; hay fark (line 4), ' on their mouths.’ " I think 
he stretches the translator's licence too far here. I cannot hear of any authority 
for his rendering. In the Paris MS. and the Lucknow edition also, it is quite 
clearly arm, which means simply a cock’s comb or a saw. We have here two 
double puns (so to speak), each word playing on both its meanings in both places. 
L. simplifies lines greatly by using ** sabil-i-mai** ^ for ” khurus." In line 4 we get 
hamchu hhurusem , the second meaning of khurus, " like a jar," or " like a cock." 

5. i.e , They wish to kill me (by striking my head with a saw). Dr. Denison 
Ross sends me the following rendering from St. Petersburg: "Those who set 
the foundations of faith upon hypocrisy, who come and draw a distinction 
between soul and body, if they wish to place a saw upon my head (i.e., kill me), 
I, after this, will (none the less) place on my head the wine-jar " (i.e., will con- 
tinue to drink wine) . 


58 

This quatrain is P. 141, L. 270, B. 266, and W. 214, and it is one of the quatrains 
that inspired F. v. 26. (The others were C. 236 (N. 120, W. 147) and No. 140 of 
this MS., q. v. post.) 

1. W, says this quatrain is a hit at the astrologers of the period. Omar 
plays on the word aiwan, which may mean also " a palace " ; he refers at once to 
the inhabitants of earth and to the planetary bodies. 

2. Literally, " Are the cause of hesitation to wise men." 


h (5) 


(^) •xuUuT jJDo b 


Jij (=) (*) 

vx^T S o 



Transcript and Translation 


175 


^ IlX^h IJ 

6V 


<3;J> ji tr*^' c)^T 

t3>* -> o^ (3^ -? 

i:)ij>* ijH. bi^ (^ y 


CiA 


^1 ^L— A— ^L-a 6^ j 




in the skirt of Heaven, and in the pocket of^ earth, 
are creatures who, while God dies not, will yet be born.^ 


57 - 

Those whose beliefs are founded upon hypocrisy,^ 

come and draw a distinction between the body and the soul ; 

I will put the wine jar on my head, if,^ when I have done so,® 
they place a comb upon my head,® as if I were a cock.^ 

The bodies which people this heavenly vault, ^ 
puzzled the learned.^ 




176 


Notes 


3. ishatt hi muddchey-and = " those who regulate.” 


59 - 

This quatrain is C. 249, P. 112. B. ii. 156, L. 253, B. 250, W. 213, E. C. 16, 
and contains (mtey alia) the germ of F. v. 79, which made its first appearance as 
F. ii. S5 : 

What ! from his helpless Creature be repaid 
Pure Gold for what he lent him dross-allay’d — 

Sue for a Debt he never did contract 
And cannot answer — Oh, the sorry trade ! 

1. "I am not that man (to whom) fear comes at the idea of my non- 
existence." Note the use of 71m and blm in these two first lines. 

2. C., and W. read hwi for mw, making it '' that fear is pleasanter to me 
than this /can" E. C. translates practically as I have from this MS. As we have 
it here, life here and life hereafter are considered as one vast whole, divided into 
two halves, existence and non-existence. 

3. P. reads, *' It is a life lent to me in this world." ^ 


60. 

This quatrain is C. 135, P. 223, B. ii. 146. L. 245, S. P. 106, N. 106, 
W. 136, and E. C. 12, and contains the inspiration of F. i. 38 : 

One Moment in Annihilation’s Waste, 

One Moment of the Well of Life to taste — 

The Stars are setting, and the Caravan 
Draws (F. ii. 49) to the Dawn of Nothing— Oh, make haste! 

which is much closer to the original, and finer, I think, than the final form 
F. V. 48 : 

A Moment’s Halt, a momentary taste 
Of Being from the Well amid the Waste, 

And lo ! the Phantom Caravan has reach’d 
The Nothing it set out from — Oh, make haste! 




!/• o'«- 



Transcript and Translation 


177 




^UujL— S' 



/ 

«« 

jS 0T 


^ 

> 1 *•*'*' ^ > 



OjI* 


1. 

•« 

dlki LH 1^1 





30 

Beware lest thou losest the end of the string of wisdom, 
for even the controllers® themselves become giddy. 


59 - 

I am not the man to dread my non-existence/ 
for that half seems pleasanter to me than this half;^ 
this is a life which God has lent me,® 

I will surrender it when the time of surrender comes. 

60. 

This caravan of life passes by mysteriously ; 
mayest thou sei^e the moment that passes happily! 




Notes 


178 


1. /^(7y2/a;t=: companions, fellow-workers. 

2. B. ii., C., P.. L., and W. TQ2.dpish ar piaUh} which means the same. 


61. 

This quatrain is W. 212 and de T 7. I have not identified it in C., P., or 
L., which surprises me. It is the original of F. i 70 (F. v. 94), which never 
varied ; 

Indeed, indeed, Repentance oft before 
I swore — but was I sober when I swore ? 

And then and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand 
My threadbare Penitence a-pieces tore. 

1. Referring to “ thee ” of the first line. 

2. The " old barren Reason ” of F. v. 55. 


62. 

This quatrain is C. 196, P. 311, B. ii. 167, L. 350, B. 346, N. 463, W. 208, 
E. C. II, and is the original of F. v. 95, which varied but inappreciably in 
the several editions : 

And much as Wine has played the Infidel 
And robb'd me of my Robe of Honour — Well, 

I wonder often what the Vintners buy 
One half so precious as the stuff they sell. 

The first two lines in all the other texts (C,, P., B. ii., L., N., and W.) vary 
greatly from this, but are, inUr se, practically identical. The same reading as 
theirs is found in the Atash Kadah of Azr. It is as follows : 

As long as Venus and the Moon revolve conspicuously in the sky, 

No one shall see anything better than ruby wine.^ 

N. reads pure, for ^^i7 = ruby; and C. reads khushUv = for UhUt 

= better. In N. this quatrain is the last but one, out of its diwan or alphabetical 
order, by way of apology. 

I. This '‘veil’* of modesty, temperance, or reputation figures largely in 
Persian belles-lettres. In this MS. we find it in quatrains 61, 62, 65, loi, and 125. 
Compare also the passage in the Introduction to Sa’adi’s Gulistan : 

“ He tears not the veil of reputation of his worshippers even for grievous sins, 
And does not withhold their daily allowance of bread for great crimes."^ 





Transcript and Translation 


179 


v3^ ^ b ^ 

^ ^^*XwS> 

hX.^3 j^W'^ 

cs-w.N^.'iiJ ^ b Ick, ij I tj ^ 

^bl <.£L-*3.J)Li J“^^ ^ 

nr 

kXj ^ fcXj L— ^ js ^ , *^ )^^-£o T b 

Sij} sab ^1 1^1^ l^^la b 

31 

Cup-bearer, why grieve about the to-morrow of thy patrons ? ^ 
give us a cup of wine,^ for the night wanes. 

61, 

Being old, my love for thee led my head into a snare ; 
if not, how comes it that my hand holds the cup of date-wine? 
My sweetheart ^ has destroyed the penitence born of reason,^ 
and the passing seasons have torn the garment that patience 
sewed. 

62. 

Although wine has rent my veil,^ 

so long as I have a soul I will not be separated from wine; 





i8o 


Notes 


2. This "they belongs, as indicated, to the fourth line. 


63 

This quatrain is only to be found in B. ii., where it is No. 173, and in this 
MS , and it is reproduced as W. 235. Its sentiment is recognisable in F. v. 61, 
and in the great quatuor F. v. 78-81, but F. made no closer use of it. 


64- 

This quatrain (in varied forms) is C. 242, B. ii. 163, L. 340, S. P. 15 1, 
B. 336, N. 151, W. 172. In it, as in q. 63, we find the sentiment of F. v. 79 and 
perhaps 94. Line i of this quatrain is No. 2 in B. ii., L., N., and W., which 
begin with line 2 of this quatrain. 

1. C., B ii., N., and W. ( 11 . 2) read dar sar (as at the beginning of line i), 
"in my head," a rare expression, though as W. notes, the Persians generally 
regard the head as the seat of all human passions. Compare the line in N. 139 
(L. 386, B. 386, a quatrain neither in W., C., nor in this MS,), "That hollow 
head that you see is so sensual."^ Note in 11 . i and 2 the conjunctive pronoun 
"wj” (my) separated from sar and from kef, as is frequent in Persian poetry. 
L. reads ‘'dasf' for ^*kef” 

2. B. ii., N, and W. read " always for "all the year round.” 


UUiiMiO 







Transcript and Translation 


i8i 


d^ \^sJj:a^y3 dJ 


ir 


dj^ j c- 

s?^ ^i-> ^ 

d^ jU ^sa^ ^sUS di^ 

np 

d>j^ r^ 

j b ^ 1 Cj-iT dJ L-0 d^Jti <— iS^ ^ 

I am in perplexity concerning vintners, for they^ — 
what will they buy that is better than what they sell ? 

63. 

So much generosity and kindness at the beginning, why was it? 
and that maintenance of me with delights and blandishments, 
why was it ? 

Now Thine only endeavour is to afflict my heart ; 

after all, what wrong have I done — once more, why was it ? 

64. 

In my mind^ may there be desire for idols houri-like, 
in my hand may there be, all the year round, ^ the juice of the 
grape ; 

14 


0 C 


J Ua'Ij 




■:»ui 


y K 


i^r -r^ 

^ -r ! j 


3^3 




i 82 


Notes 


3. W. alone) reads for kkuda, Izadat} your God. L. reads ; " Certain people 
tell me God will give repentance." ® 

4. N. and W. read ‘‘gives for "will not give"; i.o., "(even if) he gives it, 
I will none of it." 

5. duram had answers here to the exclamation **procul esto ! " 


65 . 

This quatrain is C. 172, L. 312, S. P. 142, B. 30S, N. 142, and W. 165, and it 
contains the germ {iniBr alia) of F. v. 93-95, inculcating the vanity of regrets over 
soiled reputation or lost honour, and the futility of repentance. 

1. The Wu2u ablution, or ceremonial washing before prayers, which consists 
in washing first the hands, then the inside of the mouth, then throwing water on 
the forehead, washing the whole face, the arms, and lastly the feet. (Steingass.) 

2. Vulg., " to whitewash " = nikH kerdan.^ 

3. N. and W. for "Be happy" read "give wine, for now this veil," etc.* 
L. is identicg.1 with this MS., and C. begins " Drink wine, for this veil," etc.^ 

4. N. appends a note to the effect that this is an epigram against the 
fatalism of the Qur'an with regard to pre-ordained punishment, which the Sufis 
deny as being contrary to the infinite mercy of God. 


66 . 

This quatrain in this identical form occurs only in this MS. Q. 89 
(q. I/., post) is, however, so closely allied to it as to suggest that one or the other 
has been added by a later scribe. Compare also q. 146. 

1. A Persian acquaintance of mine reads thisgw? (rose) instead ofg*7 (clay). 
Both readings are within the spirit of the poem, but the weight of evidence is, 
I think, on the side of gul. Vide note i, q. 35. 

2. khvdr herdan=to despisQ. 





Transcript and Translation 


183 


jLftj iijj ^ 


>16 

ol>^ j*ii ^1^ 

U ^Jjjx — . “a^ji ^1 dS’jjjtj 

6JJ Jjj 

'll 


dj J? ^ 



they say ,a me, - May God* give thee repentance!” 

He himself will not give* it; I will none of it; let it be far off I ■ 


65- 


In the tavern thou canst not perform the Ablution ^ 


wine, 


save with 


and thou canst not purify 2 a tarnished reputation; 
be happy, 3 for this veil of temperance of ours 
IS so torn that it cannot be repaired.* 


uu. 

I saw upon the terrace of a house a man, alone, 
who trampled upon the clay,* holding it in contempt ;3 


14 — 2 




184 


Notes 


3. This expression, which occurs similarly in qq. Sq and 146, refers to the 
language of the unknown world. Steingass gives as a rendering '* language 
expressed by one’s condition,” therefore “as well as it could,” but the rendering 
given here is more correct in this poem. 

4. lakad khurdan, literally “ to eat kicks.” 

67. 

This quatrain is P. 230, L. 291, S P. 153, B. 287, N. 153, W. 174, and is the 
original of F. v. 6 : 

And David's lips are lockt ; but in divine 
High-piping Pehlevi with " Wine ' Wine ! Wine ! 

“ Red Wine • ” the Nightingale cries to the Rose 
That sallow cheek of hers to' incarnadine. 

The reference to “ David's lips ” comes not from this MS., but from M., 1. 625, 
and C. 89 [et passim), David being, in Oriental poetry, the type of a sweet singer, 
as is Joseph of male beauty Cf. M., 1. 3813. Compare the Gulistan (ch. v., 
story 10), “That David-like throat had changed, his Joseph-like beauty had 
faded.” ^ Persian poetry is filled with references to the love of the Nightingale 
for the Rose. Cf. M., 11. 742-6. Vide q. 135, note 2. (Terminal Essay, p. 310.) 
Binning {vide p xxv , note 2) observes that the Persian nightingale arrives from 
its migration with the roses in April, and disappears with them at the end of 
the summer. (Vol. ii., p 312.) 

1. Literally, ” the cloud.” 

2. Literally, ” from the cheek of the rose-garden.” 

3. Pehlevi (or Pahlawi) was the language of the ancient Persians. F. calls 
it in a note, “the old heroic Sanskrit,” but this is a philological error. L., N., 
and W. read ha zahdn-i-hal, as in the preceding quatrain. Vide q. 66, note 3. 

4. Yellow is the colour indicative, in Persian literature, of illness, answering 
to our word “sallow.” Compare q. 69, line 2. Cf, Vita Nuova, viii. : “Lo viso 
mostra lo color del core.” 

68. 

This quatrain is C. 151, P. 336, L. 277, S P. 156, B, 273, N. 156, W 175, 
E.C. 31. The last two lines give us the origin of the last two in F. v. 15 : 

And those who husbanded the Golden grain. 

And those who flung it to the winds like Rain, 

Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn’d 
As, buried once, Men want dug up again. 

1. E. C. translates “my,” but sar-at can only mean *'youy head.” P., C., L., 
N., and W., for har sar-at, read ghanmahdt^ — ” your sorrows.” 

2. Literally, “ a night attack,” leading to the inference in line 4. 

3. P., L., and W. are identical with this ; C, and N. read the line : 

“ Order, oh Idol, some rose-coloured wine ” * 

^ U, (3) 



Transcript and Translation 


185 


^ Jl- J? J 

nv 

J4^ <,?-*—* o -?' y-^ 

^jj J-^ 

JjIj dS" J.3^ *^^J'-® 

1A 

jjjT 0 ^-CJlS IJ dS* 

34 

that clay said to him in mystic language:^ — 

“Be still, for like me thou wilt be much trampled upon.”^ 

67. 

It is a pleasant day, and the weather is neither hot nor cold; 
the rain ^ has washed the dust from the faces of the roses ; ^ 
the nightingale in the Pehlevi tongue^ to the yellow^ rose 
cries ever: — “Thou must drink wine! ” 



68 . 

Ere that fate makes assault^ upon thy head,^ 

give orders that they bring thee rose-coloured wine ; ® 




i86 


Notes 


4. Literally, "gold." These two lines refer to the practice in the East of 
burying treasure to hide it when a night attack (line i) of dacoits or robbers is 
anticipated. Omar whimsically compares this practice with the resurrection of 
the body after death, which he doubts. 

5. E. C. translates "poor brain-sick fool!" which would aptly translate 
P.’s variant, which, however, he had not seen. 


69. 

This quatrain is C. 158, P. 212, B. ii. 199, Lv 308, S. P. log, N. 109, and W. 
139. It is the original of F. v, gi : 

Ah ! with the Grape my fading life provide, 

And wash the body whence the life has died, 

And lay me, shrouded in the living Leaf, 

By some not unfrequented Garden-side ; 

which made its first appearance as F. i. 67, with the last two lines : 

And in the Winding-sheet of Vine-leaf wrapt, 

So bury me by some sweet Garden-side. 

C/. the story of Hippocrates in M., 11 . 2360-2364: "When Hippocrates was at 
the point of death one of his pupils said to him, ' Oh Master, when we have 
washed and shrouded thy body, where shall we bury thee ? * ’’ 5 

1. zinhar = Beware I C., L., N., and W. begin, "Oh Friends! sustain 
me," etc. 1 

2. Compare q. 67, note 4. C., B. ii., L., N., and W. read "cheek "2 for 

"face." hah-ruia means, literally, " attracting straws : hence "amber," the 
yjXiKTpov of the Greeks. Cf. Gulshan i mz, 1 . 194: "The Truth, as amber, 
attracts thee like a straw."® 

3. N. and W. read chiin murdah shavam^ and C. and L. read chun fawt 
shavam,^ which mean the same. B. ii. is identical with this. 


70. 

This quatrain occurs only in this MS. (of those under consideration). It is 
probably a casually interpolated address to Malik Shah. 


(^) oy? (®) (^) S (^) 

olsi ^1 ^y> JO 1©!^ 


( 6 ) 



Transcript and Translation 


187 


^Lc. J^ 

n=i 

j--!^ (*^3 j^j> 

[r;j«2 ,j5>^ 

LttJk ^ li j* J)^ 

V 

xSj^ bblis 

oij s—' y y^- 'yy 

35 

thou art not treasure,^ 0 heedless dunce,® that thee 
they hide in the earth and then dig up again. 

69. 

Take heed^ to stay me with the wine-cup, 
and make this amber face* like a ruby; 
when I die,® wash me with wine, 

and out of the wood of the vine make the planks of my coffin. 




> y J ' / ' ’ 

a yy'y 


V V •' 




y - r.-y 


wyt 




jUli 



70. 

O Shah ! destiny appointed thee to sovereignty, 
and saddled for thee the horse of empire ; 




i88 


Notes 


r. ta in lins 3, and ita-nihad inline 4, go together. Literally, " until he did 
not place.” 


71. 

This quatrain is P. 119. B. ii 208, L. 294, S. P. 164, B. 290. N 164, W. 
1S2, and is No. 3 of de T.’s examples. C/. M., 1 3316 : 

The true lover must be like fire . . . 

There can be no second thoughts to the true lover ; etc. 1 

1. Literally, "it has no water.” One of the many figurative uses of ah. 
"It has no splendour," vulgarly speaking, cf. "it doesn't hold water." Cf. 
M., 1 . 1749 : " I am helpless," literally, " My liver holds no water. 

2. khabish ; the third pers. sing, termination sh governs all the antecedents. 

3. Cf. M., 1 . 3167 : " Can he who shares the torment and passion of love 
find rest by day or night? Cf. also M., 11 3499-3509, the story of "The 
Sleepy Lover," and Purgatorio, xviii.'io3; " Ratto, ratto, che il tempo non si 
perda per poco amor." 


72. 

This quatrain is C. 176. B. ii. 211, L. 357, S. P. 175, B. 353, N. 175, and W. 
igo. In It we recognise the sentiment of F. v. 27 (concerning which, however 
post, q. 121), and also F. v. 32 : 

There was the Door to which I found no Key ; 

There was the Veil through which I might not see ; etc. 

Compare Tennyson’s lines in "In Memoriam" : 

So runs my dream, but what am I ? 

An infant crying in the night ; 

An infant crying for the light, 

And with no language but a cry. 

I. tc.^ the orbit of human understanding. 




^ 0;lu> ^3^ 6 ^ yc> ( 3 ) 



Transcript and Translation 


189 


V\ 

T L^_) Is-^ 

J)jyj c.,.^ j JLo dS" lVjIj 

vl^ fbTi 

vt* 

(jU^ bj-)^ (j^ 

^^yiA \j^‘^ 

when thy golden-hoofed charger moved/ 

setting foot upon the clay, the earth became gilded. 




}[^\j 


^ b' **.§ 
/ 






36 


71* 

A love that is imaginary has no value 
like a fire half-dead, it gives no heat. 

A true lover, throughout the month, and year, and night, and day/ 
takes neither rest, nor peace, nor food, nor sleep.^ 


72. 

No one has solved the tangled secrets of eternity, 
no one has set foot beyond the orbit, ^ 




igo 


Notes 


2 Literally, " when I look.” C.. B. ii., L., N., and W. read man ml-nigaram} 
"I see.” 

3. Literally, ''impotence is in the hand of,” etc. Cf. Faradiso, vii. 62: 
" Molto si mira e poco si discerne.” 


73 - 

This quatrain is C. 179, L. 256, S. P. 176, B. 253, N. 176, W. 191, and we 
find in it the germ of F. v. 41, which made its first appearance as F. ii. 55. 

Perplext no more with Human or Divine, 

To-morrow’s tangle to the winds resign, 

And lose your fingers in the tresses of 
The Cypress-slender Minister of Wine. 

Cf. Paradise, xv. 146 : ” il mondo fallace il cui amor molte anime deturpa.” 

I. N. and W., for*' live thou,” read "that thou mayst be.”® L. reads 
jehan hemiri,^ '' worldly empire." 

3. Vide the original MS. The transcription of this word is doubtful, but 
the best sense is made with hegusil. C., L., N., and W. so read it, and I have so 
transcribed it. 

3. This line varies considerably in the texts. N. and W. read "Be happy 
in that thou art (for) this revolving sky.”^ C. reads "Be happy, for bereft of me 
and thee, these months and years.” ^ L. reads "Be happy a moment, inasmuch 
as this revolving sky.” 0 

4. C. and L. follow this MS, N. and W. for " days” read " revolutions.” ^ 


74 * 

This quatrain occurs only in this MS., and is reproduced as W. 211, and this 
and q. 82 contain that flower-sentiment which one traces in F. v. 40, which made 
its first appearance in a slightly modified form as F. ii. 43. 

I. nestrm has many flower-meanings; one finds it used to mean narcissus 
principally, but also dog-rose, white rose, and clover. 


(4^ (2^ rj^ tiT* 0) 



Transcript and Translation 


igr 


^viL« d^jSi i^ *..s<8i>Xj * ** ^ 


c/f*^ 

<5j L/*^ 

lUi^ 1^1 (vfc 


V{= 




since, so far as I can see,® from tyro to teacher, 
impotent are the hands® of all men born of woman. 

73 - 

Set limits to thy desire for worldly things and live"- content, 
sever® the bonds of thy dependence upon the good and bad of life, 
take wine in hand and play with the curls of a loved one ; for 
quickly ® 

all passeth away — and how many of these days* remain? 

74 - 

The heavens rain down blossoms* from the clouds, 
thou mayest say that they shed blossoms into the garden ; 












J/ 1> Cj 




I •/ f 


37 




Notes 


ig2 


2. W. reads this to mean a violet jug, but I fail to find his authority. 


75 - 

This quatrain is C. 202, P. 324, B. ii 234, L. 356, S. P. 1S2, B. 352, N. 182, 
and W. 197. It contains a humorous protest against the doctrine of predesti- 
nation, whose highest expression we find in F. v. 80. There is also here a strong 
suggestion of F. v. 61, which made its first appearance as F. ii. 63. 

Why, be this Juice the growth of God, who dare 

Blaspheme the twisted tendril as a Snare? 

A Blessing, we should use it, should we not ? 

And if a Curse — why, then, Who set it there ? 

r. j 5., " sensible." 

2. N. and W. for man hinazci read u nazi-i-hhuda} that (wine-drinking of 
mine), etc. 

3. With the exception of B. ii. the other texts read az azal,^ from earliest 
eternity, for hi azal, on the Day of Creation. Concerning azal, vide post, q. 107, 
note I. 


76. 

This quatrain is C. 173, P. 189, B. ii. 233, D. 315, B. 311, and is No. g of 
de T.’s examples. We find in it the idea conveyed by F. v. 24 ; 

Ah ! make the most of what we yet may spend. 

Before we, too, into the Dust descend; 

Dust into Dust, and under Dust to lie, 

Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and — sans End. 

Compare Herrick’s verse " To Sappho,” which might also be appended as a 
parallel to qq 5, 35, 73 and 97 : 

" Let us now take time and play. 

Love and live here while we may ; 

Drink rich wine ; and make good cheere, 

While we have our being here : 

For once dead, and laid i’th grave, 

No return from thence we have.” 


Jjl jl (2) 10 =. y (1) 



Transcript and Translation 


193 


'^y~J ASuio ji\ ^ 

VO 

i3*' 

'^y. '^yj cT* 
t5=‘ cT* 

'^y d^ (*-^>^ j-^ 

VI 

Cjsjk^U.^ 6 ^ 

^ J Si—^ 5 ^lX-3 1^ 

38 

in a lily-like cup I pour rosy wine, 
as the violet clouds ^ pour down jessamine. 

75 - 

I drink wine, and every one drinks who like me is worthy of it ; ‘ 
my wine-drinking is but a small thing to Him ; ^ 

God knew, on the Day of Creation,® that I should drink wine ; 
if I do not drink wine, God’s knowledge was ignorance. 

76. 

Do not allow sorrow to embrace thee, 
nor an idle grief to occupy thy days ; 





194 


Notes 


I. Vide q. 32, note 2, and compare also q. 45. Line 3 in L. reads, "Drink 
wine! on the verge of the verdure and of the flowing stream." ^ P. reads, "For- 
sake not, for a moment, the bank of the river and the margin of the stream."® 
B, ii. combines these two readings. ® 

77 - 

This quatrain is C. 165, P. 283, L. 305, B. 301, S. P. 179, N. 179, W. 194, 
and is the original of F. v. 59 : 

The Grape that can with Logic absolute 
The Two-and-seventy jarring Sects confute ; 

The sovereign Alchemist that in a trice 
Life’s leaden metal into Gold transmute. 

1. Literally, "bear away." P. reads, " the calamities of time."^ 

2. i.e., wine, 

3. Literally, "you drink." 

4. P., N., and W. read, yeh one measure. As to men, vide q. 155, note 2. 

78. 

This quatrain is C. 174, P. 282, B. ii. 228, L. 243, S. P. 180, B. 240, N. 180, 
W. 193. Compare Herrick’s verse : 

"... I love to have it smirke and shine, 

'Tis sin I know, 'tis sin to throtle Wine. 

What Mad-man’s he, that when it sparkles so, 

Will code his flames, or quench his fires with snow ? " 


(®) (*) 0\yj s^T j ^ (1) 

j ^ ( 5 ) 



Transcript and Translation 


195 


^yS -SJlc:^ 


VV 


ca »iL*w ^J) dS" 

tiM 

JjJ «.a^ jJj jLaJLS) 

yj>^ ^ ij-^^ 3**^. 

ij^)-jj uuvl©- 


VA 

a;^ d^Uf 4a> — .1^ ^ 

dS" Ij j]jJLm esl^T 

39 

forsake not the book, and the lover’s lips, and the green bank 
of the field, ^ 

ere that the earth enfold thee in its bosom. 

77 - 

Drink wine, that will banish^ thy abundant woes, 

and will banish thought of the Seventy-two Sects ; 

avoid not the alchemist,^ for, from him, 

thou takest® one draught,^ and he banishes a thousand calamities. 

78. 

Even though wine is forbidden, for all that it depends upon who 
drinks it, 

and then in what quantity, and also with whom he drinks it ; 





196 


Notes 


1. This line varies very much in the texts. C. and P. and B. ii., slightly 
varying, read, "Whenever you have collected these four conditions L. is the 
same, substituting dn-gah^ for har gdh. N. ends the line miad jam\^ "are 
collected." 

2. In L. the fourth line is the second repeated. In B. ii. and N. this 
line reads, "After that who would drink save wise men." ^ 


79 - 

This quatrain is P. 281, B. ii. 227, L. 293, B. 289, and is not elsewhere. 
It recalls the lines in the Gulistan (ch i, story 2) : 

"Many famous men have been buried underground, 

Of whose existence upon earth not a trace has remained, 

And that old corpse which had been surrendered to the earth 
Was so consumed by the soil that not a bone remains." ^ 

1. Note the double preposition hi-khdk day, etc. 

2. L. reads hhumrah ^ a synonym. 

3 L. reads existence. 


80. 

This quatrain is C. 204, P. 157, L. 272, S. P. 186, B. 268, N. 186, and W. 201, 
and has been referred to as one of the originals of F. v. 4, in the notes to 
q. 13, a 7 ite. 

1. Literally, " zephyrs." C., L., N., and W. read sebzah,'^ verdure. 

2. This is line 4 in the other texts, and varies considerably. C. reads, "In^ 

the eyes of the clouds (0;', in hope of rain) the veils are parted." ^ L., N., and P. 

read dida,^ synonym for chashm-ha. The use of the word chashni, meaning 
"hopes" and "eyes," imparts obscurity to this line. L. and N. make their 
meaning clear. 


cs^ (^) (^) Kr** j* (^) 

oil ^^o jij sS jy»\i ^ 

OiUi 0^^ ^ 

jij tA>o ^ 

oiUi 

aOJO O.A>L£h^ Ui 80 ^ (^) (^) 



Transcript and Translation 


197 






I3 1 ij ^ L-T^* 


V^ 


ti:-^ dS* ^ 
J|^ d)U j-d, c^li=^ 

A* 


jjjLfcXj 1 .^.4 .ao^ t^Ls-s 




V/X 

/l<> 


JU'j 


i5 

V V 

r** -/- 




)6>\t 


• * M ** 

A 




40 


these three conditiohs being as they should be ; say ! ^ 
who drinks wine if a wise man does not do so ? ^ 


79 - 

Drink wine, for thy body becomes atoms in the earth, ^ 
thine earth, after that, becomes goblets and jars ; ^ 
be thou heedless of hell and heaven, 

why should a wise man be deceived about such things?* 


80. 


Now is the time when by the spring-breezes^ the world is 
adorned, 

and in hope of rain it opens its eyes,® 


IS 




Notes 


198 


3. C., L, N., and W. for “liands'’ read saftan i.e., " Moses-ZiAi?,” so 
that retains its commoner meaning, *’ hand ” This is line 2 in the other texts. 

4. A0/ means froth, or white scum, as well as " the palm of the hand,” and 
in this MS. seems to require the former meaning. Sed qu<en. 

5. Compare the passage in Sa’adi’s "Badiya” : “It is the breath of Jesus, 
for in that fresh breath and verdure the dead earth is reviving.” 

6. This probably refers to what is known in eastern and southern Europe 
as the "arbre de Judee,” or Judas tree, which suddenly breaks out in early 
spring in an eruption of pink or white blossom, like the almond, rather than the 
hawthorn as suggested by Fitzgerald. Compare Binning, vol. ii., p. 223. 

81. 

This quatrain is C i8q, P. 231, B. ii 241, L. 367, B. 363, S. P. 1S8, N. 188, 
and W. 203, and the first two lines suggested F. v. 39, that made its first 
appearance as F ii. 42 in a slightly varied form ; 

And not a drop that from our Cups we throw 
For Earth to drink of, but may steal below 
To quench the fire of Anguish in some eye 
There hidden — far beneath, and long ago. 

In line 4 we get the suggestion for F. v. 60, where he describes wine as 
The mighty Mahmud, Allah-breathing Lord, 

That all the misbelieving and black Horde 
Of Fears and Sorrows that infest the Soul, 

Scatters before him with his whirlwind Sword. 

In F. I a note is appended to the effect that this refers to Mahmoud the 
Gaznavi, who conquered India, which was peopled by swarthy idolaters. Fitz- 
Gerald took the imagery of this quatrain as a whole from a story in M. 
(11. 3117-3138), 

1. N. and W. for he-khak read ^ = reading “pours into the cup,” 

which robs the distich of much of its poetic force. I cannot trace their authority 
in the MSS. As to the custom of throwing a little wine upon the earth, like the 
Greek libation, before drinking, see F.’s note. F. had also before him C. 296 
(N. 247, W. 286, and not in this MS.), whose last two lines read : “ If your hand 
holds a cup of ruby wine, spill one drop and drink to the dregs.” ^ 

2. C. reads “in the eye of someone,”^ and B. ii. and L. “in my eye.” 
C/. M , 1 2342 (Terminal Essay, p. 312 ) 

3. poetic form, variation of hMeh ~ wine. 

82. 

This quatrain is only to be found in the Paris MS., where it is 152, at B. ii. 244, 
and in L , where it is 271 (B. 267), and whence it was reproduced as W. 210, 
and in the opening lines of this and q 74 we find the echo of the opening lines of 
F. 40: 

As then the Tulip for her morning sup 
Of Heav'nly vintage from the soil looks up, etc. 

I. Literally, “the face of the tulip holds the dew.” Compare Hafiz: 
“ The dewdrops trickle over the faces of the tulips ” and, again, “ Come, Saki, 
for the cup of the tulip is full of wine.” ® 

OJBO j) 0 

U>^ 

A ^ ^ (®) fiJil ^ aJiA (s) 


( 1 ) 



Transcript and Translation 


199 




.Uaj I— ^Iss p 

'WT — 03 


M 


iX) L w »ij ^y~~^ &1XJ1J ^*j 

Lib ^ aU 1 ^l. I 

wij L-Jt)^ j-o^ 




(XCuJL; 



41 


the hands ^ of Moses appear like froth ^ upon the boug-h/' 
the breath of Jesus comes forth from the earth."' 


81. 

Every draught that the Cup-bearer scatters upon the earth ^ 
quenches the fire of anguish in some afflicted eye.^ 

Praise be to God! thou realizest that wine^ 

is a juice that frees thy heart from a hundred pains. 


82, 

Every morning the dew bedecks the faces of the tulips,^ 
the crests of the violets in the garden are bent downward ; 

15—2 




200 


Notes 


2. Literally, " from the rosebud pleasure comes to me ” 

. i e., whose petals are closed.” W., copying L , begins the line, “ (Even) 
it gathers,” etc , which is better than this k\ip‘ which is a contraction of M 


83 

Nota. — T he first line of 83 is line i of W. 205, the rest of which is 84, and vice versd. 

„ „ 84 M W. 234 ,, M 83 

This quatrain is only to be found in this M S , whence it became W. 234. 
This and 84 are the originals of F. v. loi, which varied in all the editions. F. v., 
however, is as good as any, for us : 

And when like her, oh Saki, you shall pass 
Among the Guests Star-scattered on the Grass, 

And in your joyous errand reach the Spot 
Where I made One — turn down an empty Glass. 

The first two lines come more especially from q. 84. 


84. 

This quatrain is P. 226, B. ii. 245, L 290 (as here), S. P. 191, B. 286, 
N. 192, and W. 205 (with line i of W. 234). Here again we remark the 
coincidence of two apparently connected quatrains coming together in a diwan 
arrangement. 


/ e) / (^) 


y (’) 



Transcript and Translation 


201 


dss-!x> j ]j^ t-s Uqj I 

Ar 

Jww_^ ^Ujo j^LAjLj 

^ l^n,%sJ ^i” ^1 ^ lXJ Ij 

^ \ „o 0 Ij 

^ lw,j LkJ c:;^^ 

AP 

^ L-*u.^ 


verily, most pleasing to me is the rosebud^ 
which gathers its skirts close around itself.^ 

83. 

Friends, when ye hold a meeting together, 
it behoves ye warmly to remember your friend ; 
when ye drink wholesome wine together, 
and my turn comes, turn a goblet upside down. 

84. 

Friends, when with consent ye make a tryst together, 
and take delight in one another’s charms, 





202 


Notes 


I viughanah means anything connected with the Mughs or Magians (t.c., 
the Guebres, or Fire-worshippers), and came to be a synonym for age, superiority, 
excellence, in which sense it is used here. S. Rousseau has a very interesting 
note upon the history of this word at p. 176 of his ‘'Flowers of Persian Literature ” 
(London, 1801) 

2. dii'a means here the invocation, or salutation before drinking. (C/. 
"Your health! ” and " toasts ” in general.) 


S5. , 

In this identical form this quatrain is not in any of the texts under con- 
sideration ; but in a more or less varied form it is C. 171, P. 332, L. 310, S. P. 193, 
and N 194 A quatrain identical in sentiment, but quite different in expression, is 
C. 221, B. li 143, L 389, and N. 191, and I do not find either of these in W. 
Compare q. 139 

I. C , P , and L. read this line, " One Cup is worth a thousand men and 
their religions.^ dil-u-din = " heart and faith,” is a common Eastern phrase. Cf. 
M , 1 . 1707, " the value of an hundred lives.” ^ 

2 Whether the scribes who made my copies of C. and P. erred or not, 
I cannot tell, but they read niemleket chwwi^ "(a thousand) such empires” 
Perhaps the nun is interpolated. Sed qucevct it being in both MSS 

3 In C , L , and N. this line reads, " What is there on the face of earth 
sweeter than wine ”•> 


86 

This quatrain is P, 20, B ii. 250, B. 410, and W. 256, taken from this 
and L. 414. The first line of L. is the second of this, the second of L, being 
the first of this slightly altered. 

I L reads, "Sever thyself from the bonds of wife and children.”^ C/. 
Gidshcm i mz, 11 . 944-956, an absolutely identical passage Also Qur'an, ch. 64, 
V. 15 . " Oh ye believers ! your wives and children are nothing but dangerous 
enemies to you, against which ye must be on your guard ” (P.N., p. 229). 


(*) (3) ojjjl I 4 j\jA eb (1) 

c*5i* ^ ) y 0 



Transcript and Translation 


203 


^\l Li:>jvJ I^A-i 
A6 

|.U, «^, 

J ))J 1 ^££>js^ tSAj 

(3*^ Sjb >^ 

O^Xs** >?'>* ^ S5^ 

An 

'^jy i> ii)j> J>' 

when the Cup-bearer takes round in his hand the Mugh^ wine, 
remember a certain helpless one in your benediction.^ 

85- 

One cup of wine is worth a hundred hearts and religions,^ 
one draught of wine is worth the empire of China, ^ 
saving ruby wine there is not, on the face of earth,® 
any acrid thing that is worth a thousand sweet souls. 



86 . 

If thou desirest Him, be separated from wife and children, 
bravely move thine abode from thy relations and friends;^ 




204 


Notes 


2 L. uses the word sadd-i-yah'^ for band-i-yilh Compare New Testament 
(Matthew xix. 21, et passim) " If thou wouldst be perfect, go, sell that thou hast 
and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven ” 


87. 

This quatrain is B ii. 258, L. 403, S. P 202, B. 399, N. 203, and E.C. 9 

I cTjfida, which means “free, noble, venerable," is often used in poetry to 
mean the lily, and also the c3rpress, which is quite within the sentiment of the 
poem. 

2. a' Cclim-i-khah means equally the earth or the human body, L. and N, 
read, “ since thou knowest that all creatures are earth." ^ 

3 N. reads, “that passes in two days,"^ One may compare these lines 
with the Gulistan (Introduction) : 

“The intention of this design was that it should survive, 

Because I see no stability in my existence."^ 

Cf. Vita Nuova, xxiii : “ frale vita, '1 suo durar com’ e leggiero ! " 


88 . 

I have not found this quatrain in any of the texts under consideration. It 
contains something of the sentiment of F. v. 60, quoted snh q. Si. 


uiU jl? L# ^ (^) 


(^) 



Transcript and Translation 


205 




AV 


(5JLo JJ 

SJ1_;T ■fS> ^ ^T 

oy^ 

^ l^j is ^ Ij Ji^ ijs^j ^y'y ^ ♦» ^ ^ 


AA 

;Lj >.±S^ Jj ^^1 ^^1^J j jj 

jLffj Sab ^T 

44 

whatever is, is an hindrance^ on the road for thee, 

how canst thou journey with these hindrances? — remove them ! 

87. 

Bring me that ruby in a clear glass, 

bring me that companion and intimate of all excellent people : ^ 
since thou knowest that the duration of this earthly world ^ 
is a wind that quickly passes by,® — bring me wine. 

88 . 

Arise ! bring physic to this oppressed heart, 
bring that musk-scented and rose-coloured wine ; 




y >* 




:Jy ^ 




JU'j 






L- /•( , y ‘ , r 

J ^ ! 


J l^h 




* J^y 




206 


N otes 


I. Literally, " the ingredients of the antidote.” It is interesting to note that 
Steingass defines mufarrik “ a species of exhilarating medicine in which rubies are 
an ingredient ” ; this accords with line 4, and the whole sentiment of Omar. 


89, 

This quatrain is C. 261, P. 100, B. ii. 274, L. 411, S. P. 210, B. 407, N 211, 
and W. 252. Compare with it q. 66. and also q. 146. It is the original of 
F, V. 37, the first version of which, F i. 36, is even closer to the Persian : 

For in the Market-place one Dusk of Day 
I watch'd the Potter thumping his wet clay: 

And with its all obliterated Tongue 
It murmur’d "Gently, Brother, gently, pray!” 

F. in his note tells the story told by the Taj-i-dar in the Mantik-ut-tair of 
Ferid-ud-din ’Attar of the prophet who found that the same spring water that was 
sweet in itself became bitter in an earthenware cup. (M., 11 . 2345-2359.) To 
whom the cup spoke as follows : 

The Clay that I am made of, once was Man, 

Who dying, and resolved into the same 
Obliterated Earth, from which he came 
Was for the Potter dug, and chased in turn 
Through long vicissitude of Bowl and Urn : 

But howsoever moulded, still the pain 
Of that first mortal Anguish would retain, 

And cast and re-cast, for a Thousand years 
Would turn the sweetest Water into Tears. 

Fitzgerald's Translation^ L. R., vol. ii., p. 467 

1. N. for "fresh” reads •• tdnk"^ ^ 3 , heap or lump. L. reads pdrah'^ - 3, 

piece. 

2. Vide note 3, q. 66. 

3. L for " well ” reads = reverently 


90. 

I find this quatrain only in P. 266. S. P. 196, and N. 196, which are identical 
with it. 


cs-i/ e) e) (>) 



Tmnscvipt and Translation 


207 


cA* 

^1_)Ij __jjj| 

s?^ ^ 

=i. 

ta.w.Jlj^la, taal^ ^1^ 

^^Sti « f »,«><.. 1 \ j “s cdiA jJ d 4 1 —* 

if thou desirest the elements ^ of sorrow’s antidote, 
bring ruby wine and the silk stringed lute. 

89. 

I saw a potter in the bazaar yesterday, 
he was violently pounding the fresh’ clay, 
and that clay said to him, in mystic language,® 

“I was once like thee — so treat me well.”® 

90. 

Drink of that wine that is eternal life, 

it is the stock-in-trade of youthful pleasure, drink ! 





205 


Notes 


gr. 

This quatrain is C 260, B. ii 275, L. 410, S. P igg, B. 406, N 200, and 
W 244 All vary more or less In L. lines 2 and 4 are transposed. Cf. Qur’an 
ii. 172- "There is no piety in turning your faces to the east or west, but he is 
pious who believeth in God . . . and disburseth his wealth to the needy.” 
Cf. Dante, Convito, iv 28 : " Iddio non vuole religioso di noi se non il cuore.” 

I. The sicnnat are the Traditions of Muhammad supplementing the Qur’an, 
and held in almost equal reverence 

2 The farlzat are the ordinances of God. Therefore the word haUkf 
which in the other texts takes the place of the objective m, is pleonastic. N reads 
the line, " Of religious exercises perform (only) those commanded by God.” 2 

3 Literally, " mouthful,” i.e., share your goods with others. 

4 N. and W. read, " and do not seek to afflict anyone ”3 c reads, ” and 
do not afflict (your) fellow-mortals.” ^ In B. ii. and L. the line reads, "Do not 
make designs upon the life or property of anyone.” ^ 

5. W. for day 'nhda reads hm wa'da,^ a synonym implying obligation. 

6. Compare P.N. chap. 55 : " Offer to the poor, oh my son, a portion of 
what thou possessest, whether thy possessions be small or great. 


92. 

I do not find this quatrain in C , P , L., S. P., N., or W., but it is B. ii. 
280 identically. 

1. magar expresses doubt, and answers to the phrase " sed qitave." 

2. i.e., the Cup. 


<3^ i (*) jDT Lr~^ i (*) jl'jS; ’“i.iiji ’ivxeU, j| (2) (1) 

^ ( 0 ) ^ ^ ^ 

IlsCilj ,.1*1= ^ (7) 



Transcript and Translation 


209 


i ) <11** 1 T is 

r * *sr 


J U«j[i 
•• 


m ^ 

* vj, 

^ * ' 1 , r* 

V D }} Lf^ 

=ir 

• * 

.:^l3 J*3 


it burns like fire, but sorrows 

46 


it makes like the water of life — drink ! 

91 - 

Follow not the Traditions/ and leave alone the Commands/ 
withhold not from anyone the morsel^ that thou possessest:^ 
neither slander, nor afflict the heart of anyone,^ 

I guarantee you ^ the world beyond — bring wine ! 

92 - 

Wine is rose-red, and the cup is filled with the water of roses, 
— maybe,^ 

in the crystal casket^ is a pure ruby, — maybe, 




210 


Notes 


93 - 

This also I do not find in the texts under consideration, with the excep- 
tion of B. ii , where it is No. 283. It contains the inspiration of F. v. 93-4 ; 

Indeed the Idols I have loved so long 

Have done my credit in this World much wrong : 

Have drown’d my Glory in a shallow Cup, 

And sold my reputation for a Song. 

Indeed, indeed, Repentance oft before 
I swore — but was I sober when I swore ’ 

I. Compare Hafiz; “ Let us break again our vows of repentance in the midst 
of the roses And also the passage which occurs in his first ode; “All my 
actions, the outcome of my desire to satisfy my yearnings, have dragged me down 
to an evil reputation. ”‘- 


94 

This quatrain is C. 280, P. 31, B. ii. 291, L. 443, S. P. 230, B. 439, N 231, 
W. 270, and is No. 27 of E. C.’s specimens. It is the original of F v. 69 . 

But helpless Pieces of the Game He plays 
Upon this Chequer-board of Nights and Days ; 

Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays, 

And one by one back in the Closet lays. 

The first two lines in F, i. 49 read : 

’Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days 
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays. 

In all the other texts under consideration, except the Paris MS. and B. ii., 
the first two lines are transposed. Vide note to q. 108, post. 

I. Literally, “In the manner of truth, and not in the manner of 
metaphor.” 





Transcript and Translation 


211 



a melted ruby is in the water, — maybe, 
moonlight is the veil of the sun, — maybe. 


93 * 

Every vow we make, we break again, ^ 

we shut once more upon ourselves the door of fame and 
fair repute ; 

blame me not if I act as a fool, 

for once more am I drunken with the wine of love. 

94 - 

To speak plain language, and not in parables,^ 
we are the pieces and heaven plays the game, 




212 


Notes 


95 

This quatrain is P. 59, B. ii. 292, L. 430, S. P. 215, B 426, N. 216, and W. 257. 
Together with q. 54 v , ante), it supplied the inspiration for F. v. 71 and 9S : 

The Moving Finger writes ; and, having writ, 

Moves on ; nor all your Piety nor Wit 
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, 

Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it. 

Would but some wingM Angel, ere too late, 

Arrest the yet unfolded Roll of Fate, 

And make the stern Recorder otherwise 
Enregister, or quite obliterate! 

1. P., N., and W. read, “Why grieve so much about this protracted 
affliction."^ B. ii, presents a slight variant compounded of both readings. 

2. P., L., N,, and W. read “suffering"^ for “the times’’ 

3. Vide note i, q. 15, ante. 

4. Literally, “does not come back." 


96. 

This quatrain is P. 264, B ii, 296, L. 439, S. P. 223, B. 435, and N. 224. 

1. Literally, “a veil of cloud." 

2. B. ii., L. and N. omit this u, connecting nature and heart with 
the \zdfat. 


0;0 ( 2 ) 





Transcript and Translation 


213 


^ 

}h tsAj t®Aj |.A£> 


=\b 


CL-. .^tLJlgN 

^tvvj ^L-w. i ^‘ 6 \ 

}li JjU y ^ dai^ ^ 


'll 


y] j)| J? 

jy^ J'^ 


we are played together in a baby-game upon the chessboard 
of existence, 

a7td one by one we return to the box of non-existence. 

95 - 

Oh, heart ! since in this world truth itself is hyperbole, 
why art thou so disquieted with this trouble and abasement ? * 
resign thy body to destiny, and adapt thyself to the times, ^ 
for, what the Pen has written,® it will not re-write for thy sake.* 

96. 

On the face of the rose there is still a cloud-shadow,* 
in my nature and heart" there is still a desire for wine; 

16 





214 


Notes 


3. L. reads for "place” — i.e., "What time is this for sleeps ” 

Vide q. 97, note 2. 

4 P., L., and N. read "Drink for "Give” 

5. Compare Hafiz : 

It is morning, oh Said, fill the cup with wine, 

The rolling vault of heaven does not linger, make haste ! 

The Sun of Wine rises from the east of the cup. 

If thou seekest the pleasure of mirth, bid farewell to sleep 


97- 

This quatrain is C. 271, P. 262, B ii. 299, L. 425, S. P. 227, B. 421, N. 22S, 
and W 267, and in the last line we find the inspiration of F. v. 64 ; 

Strange, is it not ? that of the myriads who 
Before us passed the door of Darkness through. 

Not one returns to tell us of the Road 
Which to discover we must travel too, 

1. "To throw dust upon”* is a common Persian idiom for expressing 
contempt, or for counting as nothing. 

2. Literally, "There is time (or place) yet for,” etc. 

3. For 'ahtidat C. reads 'itdb "rebuke comes,” and N. 'atd hdshad,^ 

" favours there may be,” and for nemdz {vide note 2, q 2) both read longing. 

4. B. ii., N. and W. read " travellers.” Cf. M., 1. 3206, which F. probably 
had in his mind. (Terminal Essay, p. 316.) 

5 P. reads "moon-faced”'’ for "fair of face” 


gS. 

I do not find this quatrain in any of the texts under consideration. 

ob; (“) 


jt- (3) 



Transcript and Translation 


215 


til-w-J J ^ ^ J Ij L_2^ 


^v 


^U. ^ 

sr* <s>^-^y-y^ s?*s5^ 

^ ^ ^ ** ■* - »-*3 ij La^ Ai^ 

}\i J-.lj ^\,Sisjj “dU^ ^ 


=1A 


jv ‘^T «_s_^ >!. 

Jj\ J5 JjJ (j 


1 . ^^5 

sleep not, what right hast thou to sleep yet ? ^ 
give me'* wine, sweetheart, for it is still daylight.® 

97- 

Go ! throw dust upon > the face of the heavens, 
drink wine, and consort with the fair of face ; ® 

what time is this ^ for worship? and what 'time is this for 
supplication?® 

since, of all those that have departed,^ not one has returned ? 

98. 

Fill the cup ! for the day breaks white like snow, 
learn colour from the wine that is ruby ; 




JLiij 


■ ^ • 

5;/^ 


-1-^ • ^ 


1 6 — 2 




2i6 


Notes 


99. 


This quatrain is C. 276, P. 346, B. ii. 301, L. 435, S. P 229, B. 431, N. 
230, and W. 269, practically without variation. 

I. iahblr zadan is to make renunciation of self and all things worldly, by 
means of the formula Allah ahlibar, before beginning prayer. Hence the takUr 
comes to signify any renunciation ; thus, to pronounce the tahUr of anyone is to 
renounce his friendship. Here Omar indulges in an irreverent jest, and renounces 
the nemaz themselves, it being orthodox to renounce something, 

2 gardun daraz htrdan: to stretch the neck means in Persian idiom “to 
passionately desire.” 


100. 

This quatrain is C. 283, P. 99, B. ii. 303, L. 446, B. 442, W. 274, and is No. 25 
of E.C.’s examples. It forms the original of F. v. 35 . 

Then to the Lip of this poor earthern Urn 
I lean’d the Secret of my Life to learn; 

And Lip to Lip it murmur’d, “ While you live. 

Drink ! for, once dead, you never shall return.” 

1. C. reads az ghdyat-i-?idz} with great persuasiveness. 

2, Literally, “ the cause or means of long life.” 





Transcript and Translation 


217 


c)T^ 

=1^ 

jL-J^T J-^'^ 

s^- r**^> s?"^ 

1^ L-I^ ca S*«w2 1 iSJ 6^ Is^ 

)1jJ e,^j^ ^1 s?^'^ ->^ 

L. 

jT jl 1*'^^ 

— P ^-JlL jj Ij 



take two fragrant aloe logs, and brighten the assembly, 
make one into a lute, and burn the other. 


99. 

We have returned to our wonted debauch, 
we have renounced^ — the Five Prayers 1 
wherever the goblet is, there thou mayst see us, 
our necks stretched out^ like that of the bottle. 


100. 

In great desire^ I pressed my lips to the lip of the jar, 
to enquire from it how long life might be attained ; ^ 




2i8 


N otes 


3. Literally, “ and said in secret." B, ii. and L read this line, “ In mystic 
language it told me this secret." 2 p. reads : 

“ The cnp said to me in mystic language, 

I was a soul like thee, enjoy the moment like me." ^ 

4. Compare Gulistan, ch i , story 9 

I spent my life in precious hopes, alas ’ 

That every desire of my heart will be fulfilled , 

My wishes were realised, but to what profit ? since 
There is no hope that my past life will return.^ 

lOI. 

This quatrain is C. 294, P. 154, B. ii. 315, L 468, 5 . P. 239, B. 464, N. 240, 
and W. 280. It contains the sentiment of the shortness of life and duration of 
eternity which signalises many of F.’s finest verses, (C/. M , ch. xxvii ) P. 172 
repeats this ruba’i with very slight verbal change. 

1. L. reads “ days " ^ for " hours." 

2. Compare P.N., ch. Ixxi., and de Sacy's notes upon it. 

102 

This quatrain is C. 291, P. 202, B. ii. 322, L. 454, S P. 241, B. 450, N. 242, 
and W. 282, and we find in it the germ of F. v. 42 : 

And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press, 

End in what All begins and ends in — Yes; 

Think then you are To-day what Yesterday 
You were — To-morrow you shall not be less 

It will be observed that the original form of this verse was much closer to the 
original Persian, F. i. 47, the last three lines of which run ; 

End in the Nothing all things end in — yes — 

Then fancy while Thou art, Thou art but what 
Thou shalt be — Nothing — Thou shalt not be less. 

I. C. for " wine " reads " love,"^ and B. ii, and L for “with wine" read 
“full of wine." ® 

2 The familiar lala rfikh, L. and N read “with a smooth-cheeked one" 

C. reads " fresh-cheeked." ^ 

K:y* ^ (^) 
0^1 (S) 

j| J 

ji fUwtJ 0^1 

«AiT j)b ^ 

ioL, U Q) J. iol. (6) (S) tjjj (<) 


Bjls Ij (S) 



Transcript and Translation 


2ig 


^ <-:-J 




jijy j-^ ^1 

l♦Jcl>J Jij <^A.M^xs> Lo 

[;^3l c£>l^ 


Lt^ 

jji>b ^jb^ jt\ 

jjisb ^J»y^ jt\ d3i) Ij 

it joined its lip to mine and whispered^: — 

Drink wine, for, to this world, thou returnest not.” ^ 

101. 

I will give thee counsel if thou wilt give ear to me, 
for the sake of God do not wear the garment of hypocrisy, 
the hereafter will fill all hours, ^ and the world is but a moment, 
do not sell the kingdom of eternity for the sake of one moment.’' 

102. 

Khayyam, if thou art drunk with wine,^ be happy, 
if thou reposest with one tulip-cheeked.^ be happy, 





220 


Notes 


3. C. reads this line, “Since in this world of nothingness you must pass 
away’’;^ and P., L., and N., “Since the end of this world’s business is annihila- 
tion.” B. ii. reads: “Do not slumber thus, for thou wilt be nothing to- 
morrow.” ^ Compare lines 3 and 4 of q 150, which are almost identical. 


103 

This quatrain is C. 301, P. 102, B ii. 323, L. 470, S. P. 242, B. 466, N. 
243, W. 483, and E. C. 26. It gave to F. three verses of the section, called in 
F. i. kusa ndmah, “ The Book of Pots.” They are F. v. 82, 83, and 87 : 

As under cover of departing Day 
Slunk hunger-stricken Ramazan away. 

Once more within the Potter’s house alone 
I stood, surrounded by the Shapes of Clay: 

Shapes of all Sorts and Sizes, great and small, 

That stood along the floor and by the wall ; 

And some loquacious Vessels were ; and some 
Listen’d, perhaps, but never talked at all. 


Whereat some one of the loquacious bt — 

I think a Sufi pipkin — waxing hot — 

“ All this of Pot and Potter — Tell me, then. 

Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot ? ” 

The quatrain in C, is practically identical with the lines transposed thus: i, 4, 3, 2. 

I. B. ii , L. and N. read this line, “Every one of them said to me in 
mystic language”^ (ba zabdn-i-hal). 


104. 

1 do not find this quatrain in any of the texts under consideration, excepting 
the Paris MS., where it is No. 248, and in B. ii., where it is No. 324. 

I . Here we have a play upon the words mh = wine and yuh ~ * * the incorporeal 
spirit, the breath of God, the Qur'an, i.e., Revelation ” (Steingass) Paris MS. 
reads, “ that wine which they call pure spirit.” 

2 Compare q. 7, note 2. B. ii. and Paris MS. begin the line, “A restorer 
(architect) of a ruined heart.” 


li Jla. i,sh 



Transcript and Translation 


221 


o'^y- 

jSib (ji»^ 

\.r 

d.S^lS’ 

y sj)>^ 

UP 

2;)^ CA? ob 



52 

since the end of all things is that thou wilt be naught ; ^ 
whilst thou art, imagine that thou art not,— be happy! 


103. 

I went last night into the workshop of a potter, 

I saw two thousand pots, so^ne speaking, and some silent ; 
suddenly one of the pots cried out aggressively^: — 

Where are the pot maker, and the pot buyer, and the pot 
seller ? ” 


104. 

Of this spirit, that they call pure wine,^ 

they say : — It is a remedy for a ruined heart ^ 




222 


Notes 


3 P for " cups ” reads "half-men measures.” ^ Vtde note 2, q. 145 

4 Here we have another of the ingenious puns which are typical of the poem : 
A/zflf>'="good,” — " wicked,” and so he gets the juxtaposition of hhair ab = 
" good water,” and shan-dh = “ wicked water,” or shaydh, which means "wine.” 

5 It must be borne in mind that in the East wine is sold by weight, i.c., by 
the men or maund {vide note 2, q. 155). 


105. 

This quatrain is P. 26, B. ii. 329, L. 469, S P. 24S, B 465, N. 249, and 
W. 288. It does not vary. 

1, hashatan lillaJi, a common Arabic interjection. 

2. Literally, "By the head of the Tomb of the Prophet of God.” 


106. 


This quatrain is B. ii. 330, L. 473, S. P. 249, B. 467, N. 250, and W. 291. 
It does not vary, save infinitesimally. 





Transcript and Translation 


223 


^jSsiL^JJ IjCu, 1^ 

&^d>yS 6 jSj tSAjt-SAj 

^ 35 

]j^ jsjT lyi ^ j] 
a 1)1 1^1^ 

U1 

cJl^^ ll^ I ^%X9 J ^ 

c, A^UJ <,•• Aw^;Cia 


'-^'j lyiv-^^^^//*'' 
••'\ (f 



/, 1 


JU»i 


'< “ »/ 


53 


set quickly before me two or three heavily^ filled cups,® 
why do they call a good water ‘‘wicked water 


105. 

Regard my virtues one by one, and forgive my crimes ten 
by ten, 

pardon every crime that is past, the reckoning is with God ! ^ 
let not the wind and air fan the flame of thy rancour, 
by Muhammad’s tomb ! forgive me,^ 

106. 

Verily wine in the goblet is a delicate spirit, 
in the body of the jar, a delicate soul reposes. 




224 


Notes 


1. The other texts read the last word man= “my friend (B. ii, reads 
" 2^5 friend,” supra.) 

2, In which case h'lck givan should be rendered '* no dull person.” 

107. 

This quatrain is C. 312, B. ii, 341, L. 489, B. 484, and W 304. It contains 
the sentiment that appears in many of F.’s quatrains, but nowhere more strongly 
than in F. v. 54 : 

Waste not your Hour, nor in the vain pursuit 
Of This and That endeavour and dispute ; 

Better be jocund with the fruitful Grape, 

Than sadden after none, or bitter Fruit. 

The whole quatrain suggests one of Sa’di’s “Maxims”: “Life is in the 
keeping of a single breath. The world is an existence between two annihilations.” ^ 
(Gulistan, ch. viii., maxim 33.) 

I. dzal in Persian dogma is eternity without beginning, i c., “pom all time ” 
as opposed to cibad, eternity without end, f.e., “to all eternity.” 

108 

This quatrain is C. 332, P. 40, B. ii. 356, L 505, S. P. 266, B. 501, N. 
267, W. 310, de T. 10, E. C. 28, and is the original of F. i. 46 : 

For in and out, above, about, below, 

'Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show, 

Play'd in a Box whose Candle is the Sun 
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go. 

In its final form, F. v. 68, it runs as follows : 

We are no other than a moving row 
Of Magic Shadow-shapes that come and go. 

Round with the Sun-illumin' d Lantern held 
In Midnight by the Master of the Show ; 

and it is coupled with F. v. 69, quoted $vh q. 94. Cf. M., 1. 7, as to the vault of 
Heaven and the story of Ayaz (1. 3368-3405), from which F. took “the idea of” 
his verse, F. v 70. 

1. E. C 's “ at which we gaze bewildered ” is, I think, too free. 

2. These lanterns are of varying shapes. In Persia, says Nicolas, it is made 
of two copper basins separated by a shade of waxed calico about a yard high. 
The lower one contains the candle, and the upper one has a handle for the arm of 
the ferrash who carries it The shade is folded like the familiar “ Chinese lantern.” 
Ornaments are painted on the cloth, and it is to the vacillation of these as the carrier 
shifts it from one hand to another that Omar refers. The editor of the Calcutta 
Review appends a note at the foot of E. C. as follows ; “ These lanthorns are very 
common in Calcutta. They are made of a tall cylinder, with figures of men 
and animals cut out of paper and pasted on it. The cylinder, which is very light, 
is suspended on an axis, round which it easily turns. A hole is cut near the 
bottom, and the part cut out is fixed at an angle to the cylinder, so as to form a 
vane. When a small lamp or candle is placed inside, a current of air is produced 
which keeps the cylinder slowly revolving.” 



Transcript and Translation 


225 


^ 






\.V 

0 r 










/. 


• 




{1 


54 

nothing heavy ^ is worthy to be the friend of wine 
save the wine-cup, for that is, at the same time, heavy and 
delicate. 

107. 

Where is the limit to eternity to come, and where to eternity 
past ? ^ 

now is the time of joy, there is no substitute for wine: 
both theory and practice have passed beyond my ken, 
blit wine unties the knot of every difficulty. 

108. 

This vault of heaven, beneath which we stand bewildered,^ 
we know to be a sort of magic-lantern : ^ 




226 


Notes 


3. E. C exactly conveys the meaning “ The sun is the candle, the world 
the shade ’’ (or globe). 

4. C. and P. read, "that are bewildered in it,” repeating the liairdnm of 
line I, which makes me think it is an error of the copyist. There are several signs 
of weariness on the part of the scribe in the verse in my copies, Sed qncsn. 


109. 

This quatrain is C. 331, B. ii 365, L. 503, S. P. 281, B. 499, N. 282, W. 322, 
and does not vary It accounts for many such lines as in F. v. 93 and 94, q. v. svh 
q. 93 ante, and, what is more interesting, it contains a strong suggestion of the 
quatrain F. v. 81, which has baffled so many commentators : 

Oh Thou, who Man of baser Earth didst make, 

And ev’n with Paradise devise the Snake ; 

Fur all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man 
Is blacken’d — Man’s forgiveness give— and take ! 

[Vide, however, note 3 to q. i, ante; and f/. M, 11 3229-3253, and the passage 
beginning at 1 . 225. (Terminal Essay, p. 309 ) 


no. 

This quatrain I do not find in any of the texts under consideration. 

I 'azm kerdan is " to make intention ” 

2. nab, here and elsewhere in this poem, means "pure ” in the sense of being 
** undiluted.” 

3. The Zisyphus vulgaris, < or common Syrian jujube-tree Its fruit is made into 
sweetmeats, and its juice is used for coughs, but the British jujube-lozenge takes 
nothing from it but its name. 



Transcript and Translaiion 


227 






" ^ ^ ^ A»i * .Wp^4> J^ . 1 I.J 

cj^-^ ^ 

C^/ <S^ 6^^jA> 


H. 


cj Lj s bi b _j l*.^**^ ^ 

r^ c—iUjD' cL^^ ty '^b 


know thou that the sun is the lamp-flame and the universe is 
the lamp,^ 

we are like figures that revolve in it.^ 

log. 

I do not always prevail over my nature —6jrf what can I do ? 
and I suffer for ray actions,— what can I do ? 

I verily believe that Thou wilt generously pardon me 
on account of my shame that Thou hast seen what I have 
done , — but what can I do ? 

no. 

Let me arise and seek^ pure®* wine, 

make thou the colour of my cheek like that of the jujube fruit,* 





228 


Notes 


4 Literally, "professing exuberance " 

III. 

This quatrain is C. 356, P ri8, B. ii. 372, L. 554, S P. 276, B 547. N 277, 
and W. 320 

1. Literally, "intellect.” 

2. B. ii., L., N., and W. read ‘'sad " 1 = “ lOo years.” 

3. dahy means also " eternity.” C. reads " in the body ” 

4 The other texts begin this line, " Pour thou wine into the cup,” etc “ 


112. 

This quatrain is C. 344, B. ii. 373, L. 537, S. P. 283, B. 532, N. 2S4, and 
W. 324 The first line suggests F. v. 48 . *' A moment’s halt, a momentary taste 
of Being,” etc. 

1. Compare makdm, a halting-place, and viuhim, which signifies a more 
permanent abode 

2. Literally, " food is painful.” 

3. L. for sdki reads mal — wine. C., N., and W. end the line, " is a great 
error,” ^ a reading which I have found in an isolated transcript of this ruba'i 
written upon the flyleaf of a diwan of Emad (dated 920 a.h.) in a contemporary 
handwriting. (Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris ) 






0 



Transcript and Translation 


229 


<-^l^ ii5oUj^ ji 


<5J|J>^ eSAj C3^ a3 <1^ 

L. d^ ^Ij)) a^b 


ilt^ 







fls for this meddling ^ intellect, a fist-full of wine 
will I throw in its face, to make it sleep. 


III. 

How long shall we continue slaves to every-day problems ? ’ 
what matter whether we live one “year, or one day, in this world ? ® 
pour out a cup of wine,^ before that we 
become pots in the workshop of the potters. 


112. 

Since our abode in this monastery is not permanent * 
without the Cup-bearer and the beloved,’ it is painful to support 
life ; “ 

17 





230 


Notes 


4. N. translates “ of the creation or eternity (end) of the world ’ 

5. C., B ii , L., and N. read mard i sallm,^ simpleton. 


113. 

This quatrain is C. 372, P. 147, B. ii. 381, L 514, S. P. 2S6, B. 509, N. 287, 
and W, 327. 

1. ie., “Thy service is fraught with reproaches.’* L. for sadd reads ze = 
“ from “ ; t c , on account of (sins I incur reproaches). 

2. C. repeats the maldmat be-hashim, which makes sense, but is probably a 
clerical error. 

3. i,e., “ If life and thy severity are faithful to one another.” (” If thy severity 
continues all my life ” — wafa Ii(frdan= to perform a promise ) 

4. N. reads kem az an gah = ” less than that time,” for km az anki, but the 
latter is more probably correct C. for “ till ” reads *' upon ” (&«). 

5 B. ii for ” please God ” reads “ after all ” [akh%r). 


114. 

This quatrain is C. 369, P. 234, B. ii. 3S0, L. 522, S. P. 288, B. 517, N. 289, 
and W. 329. We find again an echo of F. v. 94 in this quatrain which expresses 
the poet’s scorn of penitence. 

1. Literally, “science or doctrine." A synonym of in conjunction with 
which it occurs frequently in Persian. 

2. Literally, “ I only practise the science of,” etc. The other texts for mi 
ready«if ,2 " I only mwew&fy,” etc. 


^ (*) 


(^) l*-!^ (^) 



Transcript and Tra7islatio7i 


231 




wr 


|<V*vv>^ d>i^ kX^ ^3 

^x;,<s^ <,£..-w« kX^J^ 

1^ c^l-jbl p r^ . y^ 

us-^l^ Li* c55si 1^1 ^ 




(IP 

i^b 



57 

how long of ancient creeds or new,^ O philosopher ? ® 
when I have left it what matter if the world be old or new? 


113- 

In loving Thee I incur reproaches for a hundred sins/ 
and if I fail in this obligation I pay a penalty : “ 
if my life remain faithful to Thy cruelty/ 

please God/ I shall have less than that to bear till the Judg- 
ment Day/ 

114. 

The world being fleeting, I practise naught but artifice/ 

I hold only^ with cheerfulness and sparkling wine; 

17 — 2 




232 


Notes 


3. L, reads this line in different words : They say, God will grant thee 
pardon for wine (drinking).” ^ B. ii. has a combination of the two readings 

4. Compare q. 64, line 4. 


115. 

This quatrain is C. 374, P. 340, B. ii. 382, L. 532, B. 527, S. P. 284, N. 285, 
and W. 325. 

1. niyaz means here "with humility, fawning.” N reads it to mean, 
" Though I come to the mosque from a sense of duty,” sed qu(sn, 

2. P., L., N., and W. begin haMa 2 = " really,” also " 0 God ! ” 

3. The other texts read the stronger form, ” I stole,” ^ for this, which 
equals ” I abstracted ” (literally, made less). 

4. The sejjddeh^ is the Muslim prayer-mat upon which the sejjdd ^ or cere- 
monial prostration is performed. 

5. i.e., that prayer-mat. 

6 . i.e., to steal others 


116 

This quatrain is C. 345, P. 227, B. ii. 385, L. 539, S. P. 289, B. 534, N. 290, 
and W. 330. F. has taken one of his Kuza Nameh verses from this, F. v. 89 : 

" Well,” murmur'd one, ” Let whoso make or buy, 

My Clay with long Oblivion is gone dry : 

But fill me with the old familiar Juice, 

Methinks I might recover by-and-by." 

There is a quatrain in the texts N. 115, etc,, ending in d, which has an almost 
identical meaning, though the phraseology is much varied. 

I, N. and W. read this line, " In the hand of destiny I become like a bird’s 
feather (floating away).” ^ C. reads "And by the hand of destiny I am rooted up.” ^ 


('^') 1*^ ^ ^ ^ Ji^l (B) 0 



Transcript and Translation 


233 


^ JJbJ 

Il6 

^1 2iitXi^T ^ ^iS 

fijw*T ^Ui ^ j\ isJJ)^ 

<5lljL-CiyO Lq^I 

p! aj^T iU^s’ 

in 


1*^ tj^ ^ 

<JSlX^ ji ^-J 


58 

they say to me : — May God grant thee penitence.” ® 

He himself does not give it, and if He gives it, I will none of it.^ 



115- 

Although I have come with an air of supplication^ to the mosque, 
by Allah ! I have not come to pray ; 

I came one day and stole® a prayer-mat^ — 
that sin® wears out, and I come again and again.® 

116. 

When I am abased beneath the foot of destiny 
and am rooted up from the hope of life,^ 




234 


Notes 


2 N and W read “ May it be that with the perfume of the wine I may revive 
for a moment C reads “So long as it is full of the perfume of wine I may 
live ; 2 l reads “ May it be that when it is very moist (or ' moist with wine,’ ^ 
the lithograph is bad) I may live.’ B. ii. has another variant, but P. is the same 
as here. 


117. 

I do not find this quatrain in any of the texts under consideration. We get 
in it an echo of F. v. 77, q. v. ante sub q. 2 

1. ddna = grain or seed scattered to attract birds, also science, learning. 

2. muddm gives a meaning of perpetuity ; it has also the meaning of “ wine 
drunk all day long,” as opposed to sabuh,^ the morning draught (vide q. 32, 1. 3), or 
ghdbuk,^ the evening draught (Steingass). 

3 i.e., “ Wise or strong in a tavern, than ignorant or weak in a sauma'ah," 

which means, especially, a Christian cell or hermitage. Vide q. 24, note i, and cf, 
M., 1 . 1.356, “ Thou wert formerly raw in love, but now that thou hast acquired 
experience, thou art cooked : salaam i 

4, Cf. M., 1 . 1887. " oiiB moment my passionate heart urges me towards 

the tavern, at another my spirit urges me to prayer.” ® 


ii8. 

This quatrain is B. ii 391, L. 571, S. P. 293, B. 564, N. 294, and W. 332, and is 
invariable. In this we have echoes of F, v. 93-5, and also of F. v. 41, which 
made its first appearance as F, ii. 55 : 

Perplext no more with Human or Divine, 

To-morrow’s tangle to the winds resign, 

And lose your fingers in the tresses of 
The Cypress-slender Minister of Wine. 

I. i.e., “inhale the fumes of,” literally, “ strike.” 


esoJj aoU j) y U 

(®) (5) j? j (*) 


( 1 ^ 

^ JwiiU (^^^ 



Tmnscript and Translation 


235 


jyio ajb j^jIco 

iiv 

dila ^ jjy Jj 

[*W^ Ip J [p 

p 1 Js^ ^ d-6v^ 1 b 

^Ica. d^dJ dXaJ, 

ilA 



take heed that thou makest nothing but a goblet of my clay, 
haply when it is full of wine I may revive.^ 


117. 

My heart does not distinguish between the bait ^ and the trap, 
one counsel urges it towards the mosque, another towards 
the cup ; ^ 

nevertheless the wine-cup, and the loved one, and I continually^ 
together, 

are better, cooked, in a tavern, than raw, in a monastery.® 

118. 

It is morning: let us for a moment inhale^ rose-coloured wine, 
and shatter against a stone this vessel of reputation and honour; 




236 


Notes 


2 i e , “ Let us cease to strive to earn salvation." Literally, " Let us with- 
draw our hands from our long hope.” 

3. Literally, the “ skirt,” or “fringe,” of the lute. 


119. 

This is also, as far as I have found, only in this MS. We recognise the senti- 
ment of F. V. II and 12. It is No. 14 of E. C.’s examples. 

1. c/. “ We have renounced the pomps and vanities of the world.” 

2. i.e. "at the price of.” Cf. M, 1. 2599. “Does one buy poverty?” 
(Adhem) replied • “ I for one chose it voluntarily, and I bought it at the price of 
the kingdom of the world,” etc. etc.s 

3. cf Giilshan i mz, 1. 699. Chap. 77 of P.N. is a perfect reflection of this 
ruba’i De Sacy in his notes (p 304) quotes an Arabic quatrain which may be 
translated "Poverty is substance; everything outside poverty is but an 
accident’ poverty is health; everything outside poverty is but malady. The 
whole world is but illusion and falsity ; poverty alone in all the world is an 
excellent possession and real wealth.” 


120 

This quatrain is P. 265, B ii. 409, L. 523, S. P. 299, B. 518, N. 300, and W. 
336, and it is the original of F. v. 56 : 

For “ Is ” and ” Is not,” though with Rule and Line 
And “ Up-and-down ” by Logic I define, 

Of all that one should care to fathom, I 
Was never deep in anything but — Wine, 

which is a great improvement upon F. i. 41, its original form. The quatrain is of 
course a sneer at his own algebraical and astronomical studies. Cf. Dante, Rime 
C. xviii. : “Ah com’ poca difesa mostra signore a cui servo sormonta I ” 

I. zahir is “ exoteric,” as opposed to bdtin, *' esoteric,” in line 2. 

2 N. reads, “ all that is powerfully exalted.” ^ 


j\ji ( 1 ) 

e) 







Transcript and Translation 


237 


ih 

1*^0^ -j' 

^Jj_^ ^J= j)^ 

Jjj ^L^J 

|.J.jJ u&-j^,_^ly 

\v. 

y i blla (^J— ^ 

j\ji j—S> 

let US cease to strive after what has long been our hope,“ 
and play with long ringlets and the handle® of the lute. 



119. 

We have preferred a corner and two loaves to the world, 
and we have put away greed of its estate and magnificence;' 
we have bought poverty with our° heart and soul — 
in poverty we have discerned great riches.® 


120. 

I know the outwardness ' of existence and of non-existence, 
I know the inwardness of all that is high and low ; ■* 




238 


Notes 


3. Literally, "with all this,” C/. q. i, 1. 3 

4. The other texts read, "I am weary 1 of my knowledge.” Compare 
Gulistan, ch. i,, story 9 : 

" My life has lapsed in ignorance ; 

I have done nothing; be on your guard ' ” ^ 


121. 

This quatrain is B ii. 420, L. 544 (and B. 538), whence it becomes W. 353 ; 
it is the source of F. v. 27 and 28 : 

Myself, when young, did eagerly frequent 
Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument 
About it and about ; but evermore 
Came out by the same door wherein I went. 

With them the seed of Wisdom did I sow, 

And with mine own hand wrought to make it grow ; 

And this was all the Harvest that I reap’d — 

'* I came like Water, and like Wind I go.” 

1. L. and W. reads " hear ” ^ 

2. In L. this line reads, " We came up from the earth and depart upon the 

wind,” ^ which even more closely suggests the observation attributed by Attar to 
Nizam-ul-Mulk when dying : '* Oh Godl I am passing away in the hand of the 
Wind ” M., 1 4620. Nizam-ul-Mulk was assassinated, at the instance of Omar’s 

patron Malik Shah, by one of the followers of Hassan Sabah, the other partner 
to the "tripartite agreement,” but it may be observed that though Malcolm 
(voL i., p 220; vide note 3, q 139) gives the dying speech of Nizam-ul-Mulk at 
great length (an eulogy, by-the-way, of his murderer), there is no trace in it of this 
observation attributed to him by Attar. Cf. also M , 11. 1559 (Terminal Essay, 
p, 31 1) and 22SS, which refers to the dispersal of the dust of the body by the wind 
after death (Terminal Essay, p. 311). 

3. B. ii. for " water ” reads " cloud-mist.”® 

122. 

This quatrain is C. 411, P. 58, B. ii. 424, L. 618, S. P. 319, B. 610, N. 322, 
and W. 365. 

1. B. ii., L., N., and W., for "mysteries ” read " vicissitudes.” ^ 

2. B. ii., L., N., and W.. for " of the world ” read ” and annoyance.” ® 

3. B. ii., C., L., andN., for "all the same ” read " of little account ”= easy.'^ 




^loU} 0) rj'ja C) 



Transcript and Translation 


239 


1*3 I ui 1^ I ..^ J— 




3*^ i3 ti lii^ b i3'Ji«ss^J 

3 b ^t3 c-^T 


iri" 

e)W ^ t^T 

0 Lw,?Cj Jjio yy^ ^ L^ ^ ^ i3 Ui> 

61 

nev6i'theless ” let me be modest * about my own knowledge 
if I recognise any degree higher than drunkenness. 

121. 

For a while, when young, we frequented a teacher, 
for a while we were contented with our proficiency ; 
behold^ the foundation of the discourse: — what happened to us? 
we came in like water® and we depart like wind.® 

122. 

To him who understands the mysteries' of the world, 
the joy and sorrow of the world® is all the same;® 





240 


Notes 


4. N. reads bs-su,^ meaning the same. 

5. W. begins the line, "Thou wilt have pain^ (and also the remedy).” 
The meaning of the line is obscure. W. appends the note, '"Twill all be one 
a hundred years hence.” I should like to render hhwdhi here by the German 
•• meinetwcgen," or the French "a la bonne Jieuye!" There is no good English 
equivalent ; in q. 2 I have rendered it “ an Thou wilt.” 


123. 

This quatrain is C. 410, B. ii. 435, L. 617, S. P. 324, B. 6og, N. 327, and 
W. 368, and is practically invariable. 

I The word nnd is also used to designate the Sufis, who, according to the 
popular reading of his philosophy, were Omar’s pet detestation. 

2. nemdz, Vid& ante, passm. 

3. rtlzeh means “a day’s allowance of food,” and, ceremonially, ”a fast.” 

4. B. ii , N. and W. omit ” Omar,” and end the line *’ Oh Friend ! ” ^ 

5. Literally, ” strike the road." 

6 . i e , but. There is a Turkish proverb akin to this : '* Be a robber, be a 
thief, but do not put conscience aside.” ^ 


124. 

This quatrain is C. 402, P. 53, B. ii. 436, L, 605, B. 59S, and W. 387. 
No. 76 in the Paris MS. and No. 270 in B. ii. (both ending in r) are identical in 
meaning, and practically so in phraseology. 

1. Literally, ” this salt-marsh.” 

2. Literally, “to cut away the soul.” C. ends the line, “and agony of 
heart and soul,” ^ B. ii. has practically the same ending. 


(^) dW 3 (®) 3 ^ (-) ^ (^) 



Transcript and Translation 


241 





Cj 1 * • * • ^ 1 ’ 

— 'if'y 

irr 

j4^ 


c/i-T' • -!• ,• 




J 1 

<d^yy^ ^S■y'^ 

* V-i.' 1 


L •//« ■ -• . . • H 

ty yjyy H 

Y >» • B 


62 

since the good and the bad of the world will come to an end ; * 
what matter, since it must end ? an thou wilt, be all pain, or, 
an thou wilt, all remedy.® 

123. 

So far as in thee lies, follow the example of the profligate,* 
destroy the foundations of prayer^ and fasting:® 
hear thou the Word of Truth from Omar Khayyam,^ 

“ Drink wine, rob on the highway,® and ® be benevolent.” 

124. 

Since the harvest for the human race, in this wilderness,* 
is naught but to suffer affliction or to give up the ghost,® 




Notes 


242 


125. 

This is one of the quatrains that appear to be found only in this MS. 

1. Literally, “the dress of face,” a “veil in which figures are woven.” 
Vide q. 63, note i. 

2. Vide q 55, note 3. Cf, M., 1. 3653 “A celebrated shaikh, clad in the 
robe of voluntary poverty. 

3. Literally, “strike the drum of Sultanate.” Vide q. 34, note 5, and M., 
11. 2162 and 2753, there cited. 


126. 

This quatrain is P. 186, L. 623, B. 615, whence it becomes W. 386. We find 
in it an echo of F. v. 22, and the complete sentiment of F. v. 25 . 

Alike for those who for To-day prepare, 

And those that after some To-morrow stare, 

A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries 
“ Fools ! your Reward is neither Here nor There," 

See also F. v. 22, suh q. 137. 

1. Literally, “this revolving cupola.” W. reads “ overturned ” 1 for 
“revolving,” but gives no authority for the rendering. 

2. P and L. read “ empty of all friends.” ® 







Transcript and Translation 


243 


^ ss~^ aJ^T 

\t>a 


^ji '<L.l<^ ^ JHV'^ 

^ f^Jj^ Ij 

^^1 y, yii &j^ 

l^j) ^^lkL« ^ ^j, 


in 


lAj aLyjj_^ j-jk? 

cJisJ 0'4r?> d^J jj 


light-hearted is he who passes quickly from this world, 
and he who never came into the world is at rest. 

125. 

Darvish ! rend from thy body the figured veil,‘ 
rather than sacrifice thy body for the sake of that veil 
go and throw upon thy shoulders the old rug of poverty® — 
beneath that rug thou art equal to a sultan.® 

126. 

Behold the evil conduct of this vault of heaven,' 
behold the world — empty by the passing away of friends ; ® 





244 


Notes 


3. Compare F i 37, quoted stth q 20 L. reads this line, “ Seek not to- 
morrow, leave yesterday alone,” etc.^ 

127. 

This quatrain is P. 330, B. ii. 453, L. 608, S. P 339, B, 601, N. 342, and 
W. 381. F took from it a verse that occurs only in his second edition, F. ii. 65 : 

If but the Vine and Love-abjuring Band 
Are in the Prophet's Paradise to stand. 

Alack, I doubt the Prophet’s Paradise 
Were empty as the hollow of one’s Hand. 

1. Literally, a circle or ring 

2. P. and L. read *' rosy-cheeked ones.” ^ 

3. zerh here means rather mental blindness.” 

4. P. and L. read this line, “ Is better than practising the distemper of 
piety ” * 

5. P. and L read this line, “If when dead the wine-drinkers will go to 
hell”^ 

6. P. and L. read this line, ” Then who will see the face of heaven ? ^ 

128. 

This quatrain is C. 393, B. ii. 455, L 5SS, S P. 341, B. 581, N. 344, and 
W. 3S2. 

I. Literally, " the stone of trial.” 


J (^) P) (^) 



Transcript and Translation 


245 


jsslj y ^^1^ U 


it'v 


j or* 

c5"^»J!;j c3-»5 “^b 

4a.<.>w«J 


It'A 

id'^r^J-^ (^- );jL-& Jj 

vr-0. a .* l^^XaivJ 


64 

as far as thou art able live for thyself for one moment, 

look not for to-morrow, seek not yesterday, behold the present ! ® 

127. 

To drink wine and consort with a company’^ of the beautiful “ 
is better than practising the hypocrisy® of the zealot;* 
if the lover and the drunkard are doomed to hell,® 
then no one will see the face of heaven.® 

128. 

One cannot consume one’s happy heart with sorrow, 
nor consume the pleasure of one’s life upon the touchstone ; ^ 

iS 





246 


Notes 


2. Literally, “The person is invisible (absent) who knows,” etc. L and 
W begin the line, “In this world he who knows,” etc. ; ^ and C begins, “In 
the obligation of knowing,” etc ^ 

3. N. appends a note, “ God,” a good specimen of his Sufistic tendency to 
‘ ‘ whitewash ’ ’ poor Omar 


129. 

This quatrain is C 416, B ii 464, L. 634, S. P. 345, B 62(5, N. 348, W 390, 
and E C 3, and we recognise in it the sentiment of F. v. 23 
And we, that now make merry in the Room 
They left, and Summer dresses in new bloom, 

Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth 
Descend — ourselves to make a Couch — for whom ^ 

1. C begins with the familiar mai hhurki, “ Drink wine, for, for the sake,” etc. 

2. N for “Idol ” reads “ Come.” a probable, but harmless, misplacement of 
the diacritical points B. ii and L read here, "grasp the goblet.”^ C ends the 
line “for many prayers,” ^ an error, I think, of the scribe. Compare Gulistan, 
ch i , story 26 

For how many years and long lives 

Will the people walk over my head on the ground ; <5 

and again, story 15 of ch iii 

Wah 1 how — every time the plants in the garden 
Sprouted — glad became my heart i 
Pass by, O Friend ! that in the spring 
Thou may St see plants sprouting from my clay ^ 

i 3 o« 

This quatrain is C 420. P. 36. B. ii. 460, L. 624, S. P. 348, B 616, N. 351, 
and W. 393, and contains, like q. 51, the germ of F. v. 47, q. v. sul q. 51. 

I ie., “Our life is an incomplete thing — where is the rest of it? ” The 
other texts for “essence” read “hope”*’ N. reads the line, “ and where is the 
realisation of the burden of our hopes in this world.” 

( 5 ) C) 0 ) 204^ ^ 0 ) 

jijo ^ (f>) jUi 

6^ 6^ jJb 

jl|j> U tAt 1^1 

^ ^ (^) (®) 



Transcript and Translation 


247 


^ 6^ Jj j J dc^ 


\i'=i 


^ ty^ cji' 
-sJb 

b^iij ^ ^ ^ <ju<bd ^ 

o^ jw«j ^ 


ir. 


^ Iw. ^Jw*T )] 


65 

no one is to be found who knows what is to be ; ■* 
wine, and a loved one,^ and to repose according to one’s desire, — 
these things are necessary. 

129. 

Ihis heavenly vault, ^ for the sake of my destruction and thine, 
wages war upon my pure soul and thine; 
sit upon the green sward, O my Idol ! ® for it will not be long 
ere that green sward shall grow from my dust and thine. 

130- 

What profits it, our coming and going? 

and where is the woof for the warp of the stuff of our life?^ 

1 8-^2 


V I 

** 

1 ! 


juu 














Notes 


2. Literally, " so many delicate hands and feet." 

3. The other texts (except B. ii., which is identical) read this line. " Beneath 
the circle of the heavens, how many pure bodies " 1 (P., L., and W., “ souls " s). 


131. 

This quatrain is C. 443, P. 296, B. ii. 480, L. 670, S. P. 356. B. 662, N. 359, 
and W. 426. It is, with q. 16, the source of inspiration of F. v. 41, g. v. jw 5 q. 16. 

1. B. ii., C, and N. for “ all sciences " read “ science and piety." 2 

2. Literally, “to hang, is best." 

3 For surahi, “bottle," L. reads kanabat," ^ flagon, or vat; N. reads 
a glass bottle; P. reads ; B. ii. Te&ds/akth.’f “ doctor of law " ; 
and C. reads 'adwat,^ i “ as much blood as you can.", 


132. 

This quatrain is P. 300, B. ii. 482, L 654, S. P. 361, B. 646. N 364, and 
W. 409, and does not vary. The freedom of N.’s translation amounts to licence. 


M* 0 (“) (^) 


(^) 


(*) 


j (=) 



Transcript and Translation 


249 




\r‘\ 


“4 i^ji (*>^ o^J'^ 
aj t— fiJ^ 

>i)lj uuJji* ^^j)j>j> ob 

D^ oy-^ ^ 


irr 


dJ dl J) id 

&vdS ^ l£:> j 


66 

How many delicate bodies^ the world ^ 

burns away to dust! and where is the smoke of them? 

131- 

Flee from the study of all sciences^ — ’tis better thus, 
and twine thy fingers'* in the curly locks of a loved one — ’tis 
better thus, 

ere that fate shall spill thy blood; 

pour thou the blood of the bottle® into the cup — ’tis better thus. 

132. 

Ah I I have brushed the tavern doorway with my moustaches, 
I have bidden farewell to the good and evil of both worlds ; 





250 


Notes 


I. i , at my feet. Note the vowel points in the text to make the meaning 
dear Cf M , 1. 3224 • “ When he has drunk a little of this wine he will forget 
the two worlds."* 


133- 

This quatrain is C 442, B. ii. 478. L 672, S. P. 355, B. 664, N. 35S, and 
W 404. 

I For "wine" N reads " gladness, and L reads "rectitude,"'-* which 
W. thinks is a gloss by a Sufi scribe. 

2. Literally, "shortness — deficiency." 

3. The other texts read this line, "Wine also from the hand of Idols in a 
pavilion, is best " ^ 

4. Kalendars [with whom we are familiar in the pages of the "Arabian 
Nights") are "a kind of itinerant Muhammadan monk with shaven head and 
beard, who abandon everything, wife, friends, and possessions, and wander about 
the world " (Steingass). W. calls them "bibulous Sufis." The term has come to 
be applied to persons who have abandoned all respectability Compare R. B. M 
Binning {uide note 2, p. xxv.), vol. ii., pp. 72-3, for an accurate account of these 
mendicants. An extract will suffice. "They lay claim to great sanctity, and 
pretend to be inspired, while their profession of holiness, self-denial, and austerity 
of life is often a mere cloak for all manner of profligacy and villainy " 

5. This means "continually"; literally, "from the Moon-month to the 
Fish-month " indh is the Moon, and 7 ndhi, the sign Pisces, upon which, according 
to the Persian cosmogony, the world is supposed to rest. All Persian poetry is 
full of references to this condition of things. Vide {e.g,) in M. alone, 11. 38, 48. 640, 
etfassim. 


134. 

This quatrain is C 435, P. 34, B. ii. 481, L. 657, S. P. 360, B. 649, N. 363, 
and W. 408, and from this and q 134 we get F. v. 72 ; 

And that inverted Bowl they call the Sky, 

Whereunder, crawling coop’d we live and die, 

Lift not your hands to lx for help — for it 
As impotently moves as you or I 

cy. M , 11. 145 and 2290, which probably gave F. his first idea of this quatrain. 
(Terminal Essay, p. 30S.) 


0 **^ ) r* •/" (*) (®) 0) 



Transcript and Translation 


251 






V 


^ y- 


\rr 


{iJ 




sli^J 




<SJ ^ isL»^ tSAj 


\rp 


ajlxil ^1 

aJUil 



though both the worlds should fall like balls in my street/ 
seek me, — ^ye will find me sleeping like a drunkard. 


133 - 

From everything save wine‘ abstinence “ is best, 

and that wine is best when served by drunken beauties in a pavilion,’ 

drinking, and Kalendarism,^ and erring, are best, 

one draught of wine from Mah to Mahi ® is best. 


134 - 

This heavenly vault is like a bowl, fallen upside down, 
under which all the wise have fallen captive. 




252 


Notes 


I. i.e., Wine has been poured from the bottle into the cup. Blood is, in 
Perian literature, a synonym of hatred, and in composition **kh n uftddan lay htss ” 
is to revenge oneself 

X35- 

This quatrain is B ii. 483, L 671, S P. 366, B. 663, N. 370, and W, 414, and 
we find in it the source of the first distich of F. v. g : 

Each Morn a thousand Roses brings, you say; 

Yes, but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday? 

F. i. 8 is closer to the original : 

And look — a thousand Blossoms with the Day 
Woke — and a thousand scatter'd into Clay; 
and also F. v. 14 : 

Look to the blowing Rose about us — "Lo, 

Laughing,” she says, "into the world I blow. 

At once the silken tassel of my Purse 
Tear, and its Treasure on the Garden throw.” 

1. ie t the petals. N translates aptly but freely, " See how the zephyr 
has caused the roses to open ” De Sacy quotes (P N., p. 309) an ode of Shahi in 
which the following occurs " Since the zephyr has brought to the rose the 
perfume of thy fame, she has torn the skirt of purple which was her glory.” 7 

2. The amours of the Nightingale and the Rose occur redundantly in all 
Persian literature. Vtde note to q. 67. A volume might be filled with such quota- 
tions ; two will sujB&ce here— one from Sa’adi : 

The Spring is delightful, oh Rose, where hast thou been? 

Dost thou not hear the lamentations of the Nightingales on account of thy delay ? ^ 
and one from Jalal-ud-din in the Ruz-bahar : 

While the Nightingale sings thy praises with a loud voice 
I am all ear, like the Rose-tree.^ 

3 B. ii,, N and W read " for many times these roses ” ^ L. reads the line : 
"Make haste! drink wine, for oh, how many roses (there are) that, by the 
wind." ^ 

4. N. and W. read " have sprung from earth and (again) been scattered to 
earth. "s L. reads "have been scattered to earth and have become dust." ^ 
Cf. hiferno, iii. 112 . "si levan le foglie I'una appresso dell’ altra, infin che ’1 ramo 
rende alia terra tutte le sue spoglie " 

136. 

This quatrain is C. 504 and B. ii. 484 ending inye, P. 207, L. 740 inye, C. 427, 
S. P. 362, B. 726, N. 366, and W. 411 ; it does not vary, and it is the original of 
one of the quatrains that occur only in F.'s second edition, F. ii. 14 : 

Were it not folly, spider-like to spin 
The Thread of present Life away to win — 

What ? for ourselves, who know not if we shall 
Breathe out the very Breath we now breathe in ! 

S ^ (0 

Oj Is 

.slU. j\ (^) JST aoU (^) tjil 6^ (3^ 

i£llG> y^ ji (^) jj ^ ji 

[JH y^ e)* ji V ^ oIj jl 



Transcript and Translation 


253 


6ijUj) <-r-J 


\]-6 

^ W-<0 

iSiX£i> ^ J 

^iuXio bj <5;xij Jji 


in 

<Sjli c^IJ £^ ^Jy^. 

choose thou the manner of friendship of the goblet and the jar, 
tiny an lip to lip, and blood has fallen between them.* 

135- 

See, the skirt* of the rose has been torn by the breeze, 
the nightingale rejoices in the beauty of the rose ; “ 
sit in the shade of the rose, for, by the wind, many roses ® 
have been scattered to earth and have become dust.‘ 

136. 

How long shall I grieve about what I have or have not, 
and whether I shall pass this life light-heartedly or not? 


' ) I •*• / 


J L^fj 
•• 




} ( 



f’i/ 




* 

m 


J Lji I j 




68 




254 


Notes 


I Compare Gulistan, ch viii “ Life is in the keeping^ of a single breath 
Vide note to q. 107. 

137 

This quatrain is P. 218, B. ii. 485, L. 643, S P. 363, B 635, N 367, and 
W. 412. We get in it an echo of F v 22 . 

For some we loved, the loveliest and the best, 

That from his Vintage rolling Time hath prest. 

Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before, 

And one by one crept silently to rest. 

1 Literally, “ do not give thy body." 

2 N. and W read " thy soul " ^ 

3. N. reads “ do not remind thy soul of discourse " ^ 

4 Persian is full of these compound attributes B ii., N and W read 
"sugar-lipped,"’'* and L reads "curly-headed.”^ Cf Lala rukh, tulip- 
cheeked, and gul andcim/ rose-bodied. 


138. 

This quatrain is P 236, B ii 486, L 647, S, P 359, B. 639, N 362, and 
W. 407 

I, Literally, " lay it not aside." N and W. read this line, " do not 
calculate the measure of your life," etc ® P.and L for "measure " read "anxiety.” 
These readings are preferable to that of this MS., which has only age to 
recommend it 


r- (*) (*) t)*- (*) 0) 

iAm . IT 


- 6j (®) 



Transcript and Translation 


255 


6^ (fi J Ij C*^ J‘^ 

‘Sjii i»j! ^ (•‘i 


irv 


1,3 ^ o 
fijw* jLj \j\ — ^ 

e,^ y^ J.J 


irA 


<Jj^ (.a.* i ft‘' J)1 & >i lij) 

,U.>* < •• »,««»<« 


Fill up the wine-cup, for I do not know 

that I shall breathe out this breath that I am drawing in.‘ 

137 - 

Submit not' to the sorrow of this iniquitous world, 
remind us® not of sorrow’ for those who have passed away, 
give thine heart only to one jasmine-bosomed * and fairy-born, 
be not without wine, and cast not thy life to the winds. 

138. 

Though thy life pass sixty years, do not give up ; ' 
wherever thou directest thy steps, walk not save when drunk; 



69 




256 


Notes 


2. The other texts (with the exception of B. ii ) read “hair,” ^ which is not 
so good. 

3. i.e., “Before they make thy head into a jar.” P. reads "Before 
they make thy head and dust into jars." ® 

4. The other texts (with the exception of B ii ) begin the line, “ Go 
thou ! “ 3 L reads " Go, sell^ the jar, and do not let go the cup." 


139 - 

This quatrain is P. 246, B. ii. 511, L. 650, S. P. 378, B. 642, N. 382, and 
does not vary. Compare q 85, and vide the note to that quatrain 

1. Literally, " From whatever is not wine let the road out be best ” 

2. Feridun was the sixth King of the Paish-dadian dynasty of Persian rulers. 
He was the son of Abten, and was elevated to the throne by the exertions of the 
heroic blacksmith Kaf (or Kawah) after the overthrow of the tyrant Zohuk. 

3. Kai-Khosru was the grandson of Kai-KiLwus (the Greek Cyaxares). 
He was identical with Cyrus the Mede of Greek history, and was the most bril- 
liant of all the kings of the Kaianian dynasty. He conquered and killed Afrasiab, 
extended the kingdom of Persia to Syria, Asia Minor, and Egypt, and be- 
came a personage of occidental history by his conquest of Babylon and subse- 
quent manumission of the Jews there in captivity. (Compare Isaiah, ch. xliv., 
V. 28, and ch. xlv., v. i.) See Sir John Malcolm’s "History of Persia” (2nd 
edition; London, 1829; Murray) and Sir Clements R. Markham’s “General 
Sketch of the History of Persia ” (London, 1874). 

Compare Hafiz : “ When Hafiz is drunk, why should he value at a grain of 
barley the Empires of Kawus and Kai? ” ^ 


140. 

This quatrain is C. 453, P. 260, B. ii. 525, L. 687, S. P. 380, B 678, N. 384, 
W. 428, and probably inspired F. v, 26. Compare also C. 127 (L. 261, P. 86, 
B. 25S, W. 209, N. 464), which is a corresponding quatrain: 

“ Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss’d 
Of the Two Worlds so wisely — they are thrust 
Like foolish Prophets forth; their Words to scorn 
Are scatter’d, and their Mouths are stopt with Dust.” 

I. B, ii. and C. read “ in the slumber,” etc.'^ 


(0 


Jk iju.' (6) 


e) e) (1) 



Transcript and Translation 


257 






dj y lsAL*^ Jdi:>^ tMj 

^Ij J-*o tSAL* ^1 di 

^ -.5-)^®*^ ^ «*i-^ ca.. A,;r;uc> 


iP. 


^U ^1 03) <tei; i^bT 

s?®^ s?' jjI dxAc^ 


before they make the hollow® of thy skull into a jar,^ 

lower not the jar from thy shoulder, neither relinquish the cup.^ 

139 - 

One draught of old wine is better than a new kingdom, 
avoid any way save that of wine — ’tis better so ; ^ 
the cup is a hundred times better than the kingdom of Ferldun,® 
the tile that covers the jar is better than the crown of Kai- 
Khosru.® 

140, 

Those, O Saki, who have gone before us, 

have fallen asleep, O Saki, in the dust ^ of self-esteem ; 



70 




258 


Notes 


141 

This quatrain is C. 476, B. ii. 527, L. 703, S P 384, B, 693, and N 388. 

1. L. reads “You threw away my rose-coloured wine 1 upon the earth “ 

2. khaltm ha dihan, literally, “ earth on my mouth ! '' a frequent expletive in 
the East, hhhtsk-ha-dihan, “ may/zf perish,” etc. 

3 turf a = strange, incomprehensible, new, etc The other texts are easier 
to render ; they read, “ Perhaps you are drunk, my lord ' ” 2 

4 B li. reads “ tulip-coloured ” for “ pure ” 


142. 

This quatrain is P. 339 and B ii 530, and is found by W. only here, 
and as L. 728 (W. 492). 

I. L , for “baths” and “canals,” reads “all capital ” and “courtyards”® 
B ii. also reads “ courtyards,” 









Transcript and Translation 


259 


ta-JLSea,^ J|jC» a^ilj 
(^1 iiil isJiS »■- 1 1 


IPI 


— >} b cT* ^ 

\j^ ^Ld. ji 


\'PV 


S?*'^ bo-'ir-^ <U* 

j dj l_^ 


go thou and drink wine, and hear the truth from me 
whatever they have said, O Saki, is but wind. 

141. 

Thou hast broken my jug of wine, O Lord ; 

Thou hast shut upon me the door of happiness, O Lord ; 
thou hast spilled my pure* wine upon the earth;* 
may 1 perish ! ^ but thou art strange,* 0 Lord ! 

142. 

O heaven! thou givest something to every base creature 
thou suppliest baths, and millstreams, and canals ; * 





26 o 


Notes 


2. Literally, " the evening loaf.” 

3- literally, " quickly.” 

4. L.’s concluding distich varies a good deal, but I think it is corrupt : 

" The free man cleans out his money-bags and lays out his shop ; 
Perhaps he may reap profit from this heaven.” 1 


143- 

This quatrain is C. 495, P. 209, B. ii. 529, L. 733, S. P. 379, B. 721, N. 383, 
W. 427, and it is virtually invariable. It would seem to have inspired F. v. 62 
(which made its first appearance as F. ii. 64) ; 

I must abjure the Balm of Life, I must. 

Scared by some After-reckoning ta'en on trust, 

Or lured with Hope of some Diviner Drink, 

To fill the Cup — ^when crumbled into Dust 1 


144. 

This quatrain is B. ii. 569, L. 710, S. P. 392, B. 700, N. 397, and W. 439. 
Compare also C. 40 (L. 63, W. 57, B. 60, N. 34, S. P. 54), which is a corresponding 
quatrain. 


I. i.f., “From the scheme of the universe you suffer only hardships.” 


Ou^ O Mi 



Transcript and Translation 


261 


c)^ 

'y^ liUj yi JjLSs 


\fr 

)L> ^■^■* 

^ far «<»■ niiii.*4>Uwi^J dt^ 1^3 


\r^ 


<ujc» y ij^ jl 


73 

the pure man plays hazard for his night’s provisions : ^ 
thou shouldst give readily " for such a heaven ? 

143 - 

O heart ! at the mysterious secret thou arrivest not, 

at the conceits of the ingenious philosophers thou arrivest not ; 

make thyself a heaven here with wine and cup, 

for at that place where heaven is, thou mayst arrive, or mayst not. 

144. 

Thou eatest always smoke from the kitchen of the world ; 
how long wilt thou suffer miseries concerning what is or is not? 

19 


t t"/ 

I I ; 




c-T-r • i/ • ' ^ 

‘(y joy 
•• 


jC>>h 






262 


Notes 


2. In the other texts (excepting B. ii , which varies a little only in 1. 3) 
the last two lines vary much • ‘‘The world is a grievous detriment for those who 
inhabit it , renounce this detriment and everything becomes profitable for you " 1 


145 

This quatrain is C 447, P. in, B. ii 523, L. 707, S P. 389, B 697, N 394, 
W 436, and is the seventh of E. C.’s examples. It is the original of F. v 44 : 

Why, if the Soul can fling the Dust aside, 

And naked on the Air of Heaven ride, 

Were't not a Shame — ^were’t not a Shame for him 
In this Clay carcase crippled to abide ^ 

This quatrain of F. made its first appearance in the poem proper as F ii 49, in he 
form in which it appeared in the Preface to F. i. ■ 

Oh, if my Soul can fling his Dust aside, 

And naked on the air of Heaven ride, 

Is’t not a Shame — ^is't not a Shame for Him 
So long in this Clay Suburb to abide ^ 

Cf, M., 11. 126-7; “The soul’s portion was elevation, and the body’s terrestrial 
degradation ; a mixture of vile earth and pure spirit was formed ” 

1. C. and N. read '■ griefs for "dust," and for “body’ B ii and 
L. use the commoner word 

2. Literally, '* thou becomest upon the heavens " 

3 ie , The heavenly sphere in general 

4 C, uses the words “ thou adornest."^ 

5. E. C. translates in a city of clay" ; but even “suburb " is better. The 
Arabic word khittat means essentially a "boundary " or “confine " 


146. 

This quatrain is C. 480, P. 106, B ii 539, L 706, S P. 399, B. G96, N. 404, 
and W 446. It is another of the quatrains in which the idea recurs of the 
despised clay or jug warning its contemner of the transient nature of human life. 

I Literally, “ I was head-happy." The other texts read, “ I was drunk." ^ 

2. aubdsh signifies the mob, the common herd. E. C. translates, “ And at 
the reckless freak my heart was glad," which is strangely free for so conscientious 
a scholar 


1#;^ U*> ^ jjy / 

^ (6) (*) (3) ^ (2) 



Transcript a/iid Translation 


263 




ipa 


u^yii ^\ fV~«^ jW^j J‘J 

(^jSD ^Ail CV 

IjLj y y*t:^ 


\t“'l 


<^yt^ |*»i^ 

f'ljy 


73 

thou desirest not a stock in trade, for its source weakens, 
and who will consume the capital, seeing that thou consumest 
all the profit ? ® 

145 - 

0 soul ! if thou canst purify thyself from the dust of the body,* 
thou, naked spirit, canst soar in the heavens, “ 

the Empyrean “ is thy sphere,— let it be thy shame, 

that thou comest^ and art a dweller within the confines® of earth. 

146. 

1 smote the glass wine-cup upon a stone last night, 
my head was turned* that I did so base a thing;* 



19 — 2 




264 


Notes 


3 » 4 Vide ante, passim 


147. 

I find this quatrain only in P 263, and in a varied form as L. 722 (B, 71 1). 
It is a matter for comment that so careful and discriminating a collator as W 
should have omitted so characteristic a quatrain. 

1 Literally, “ hold up.” L reads 

2 Literally, ‘‘heart-seeking, or heart-desired ” 

3 This duplicated adverb is a common form of Persian superlative 

4 The second and third lines in L. read : 

“ Cheerfully seek the verdant spot and the bank of the stream, 

For this vault of heaven out of the moon-like faces of idols,” etc.“ 


148 

This quatrain is B, ii 546, and is W. 432, taken from this. In a variant 
form it is N. 390, not in S P.) It contains the inspiration for F v. 80 

Oh Thou, who didst with pitfall and with gin 
Beset the Road I was to wander in, 

Thou wilt not wnth Predestined Evil round 
Enmesh, and then impute my Fall to Sin 1 

A very similar passage occurs in the Mesnevi of Jellal-ud-din Rumi (book i, 
ch vi), in the story of the Caliph Omar and the Ambassador, which elaborates 
this theory of predestination 

That same Destiny, though it should an hundred times waylay thee 
Will (one day) strike a pavilion for thee in the highest vault of heaven.® 

W. 432 (edition 1883) was retained as No. 241 in his edition of 1893 ; but it 
appears to have taken the place of one No 224 in his original edition of 1882. 
This was as follows . 

Thou dost with frequent snare beset the way, 

The Pilgrim’s wandering footsteps to betray, 

And all poor wretches tangled in thy snares 
Dost seize as prisoners and as rebels slay. 

This edition gives no original text, but this verse is a good parallel to F ’s 
quatrain, and is so quoted by D. 

I N. reads this line, “ On every side thou hast placed two hundred 
snares * 

2. N. and W read, “ It isyowy loss if," etc.^ 

^ (^) (^) 

39J ^ (Sh ‘"AT* j 

lAiJi j\i ^ 

iAJj usUi jiji ji 

(®) ^1 JO jB JO (*) 



Transcript and Translation 


265 


cT* y y 

IPV 

, S?' J J>\>iji 

‘i/ Ui>^ Jiy*. 

J »3y-0 

\PA 

j*1j L^ j\j — as ji 

1*^ J^\ 

the cup said to me in mystic language/ 

I was like thee, and thou also wilt be like me.” 

147 - 

Grasp 1 the wine-cup and the flagon, O heart’s desire!^ 
pleasantly, pleasantly,® and cheerfully, wander in the garden 
by the river brink,- 

many are the excellent folk whom malicious heaven ^ 
has made a hundred times into cups, and a hundred times into 
flagons. 

148. 

In a thousand places on the road I walk. Thou placest snares,^ 
Thou sayest, will catch thee® if thou placest step in them^' ; 





266 


Notes 


3. Literally, “Not one speck of the world is free from thy wisdom.” 

4 N. reads these two lines : 

Thou hast placed the snares thyself, and every one who steps into them 
Thou catchest, and slayest, and callest a sinner.^ 


149 

This quatrain is S P. 408, N. 413, and W. 452, and it is No 13 of E. C ’s 
examples. It is with q 155 the true and close original of the beautiful F. v 12 . 

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough, 

A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread— and Thou 
Beside me singing in the Wilderness — 

Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow. 

Compare qq. 25, 32, 40, et fassim. 

1 tiingi means also “ a sack,” and W renders it “ a skin of wine.” 

2. ditvCin or “ divan” : a collection of verses in the alphabetical order of the 
final letters of the end rhymes (Steingass). Like this collection of quatrains, 
in fact 

3 i , a bare subsistence, enough to keep life in one. Steingass renders the 
phrase, “ the last remains of life, or, the agonies of death ” W. translates “ a 
moment of respite in life,” which is hardly strong enough. “A stopper of the 
last breath ” would accurately render the opening of the line 

4 Compare F v ii, line 3 . “Where name of Slave and Sultan is forgot.” 


150 

This quatrain is B ii. 562, L. 729 and 13 717, whence (and from here) 
it becomes W. 500 It shares with q. 102 the sentiment of F. v. 42, q. v. sub 
q. 102. 

I. Literally, “ live thou justly.” 


‘H* ^ (*10 oy>. (J-) 



Transcript and Translation 


267 


a^itsAj 

(*^ ^ y 

IP'l 

J*3 

^iUaLyo j,xia^.. .{^ 




\^y, 

K^y vilk.iLj y3 oIjwJ ^l)sJ|^ 


in no smallest thing is the world independent of Thee,^ 

Thou orderest all things, and callest me rebellious.^ 

149. 

I desire a little^ ruby wine and a book of verses,^ 
just enough to keep me alive “ and half a loaf is needful ; 
and then, that I and thou, should sit in a desolate place 
is better than the kingdom of a sultan.^ 

150- 

Do not give way so much to vain grief, — live happily, 
and, in the way of injustice, set thou an example of justice,^ 



75 




268 


Noies 


2 Literally, *' business.” 


151 

This quatrain is C 485, B. ii. 557. L 713, S P. 415, B. 702, N. 420, and 
W. 459 

1. Literally, ” as often as I ga2e.” 

2. ravan-ist is an obscure phrase in this place. It may mean as rendered 
here, or " there is life from the stream Kausar." The other texts begin the line, 
" There is heavenly verdure and the stream Kausar 

3- Kausar, in Persian mythology, is the head-stream of the Muhammadan 
Paradise, whence all other rivers are supposed to flow. A whole chapter of the 
Qur'an is devoted to this miraculous stream The bed is formed of gems, its 
water is whiter than milk, fresher than snow, sweeter than sugar, more perfumed 
than musk, mtcy aha. The cup-bearer charged with the duty of serving the 
blessed with this water in silver cups is Ali, the son-in-law of Muhammad. 
Cf M., 11 445 to 456, " The Praise of Ali ” 

4 hem gufian is “to abandon, or consider as lost ” B. ii., N and W 
omit the word hem The line refers to Winter being transformed into Spring, as 
Hell might be replaced by Heaven. Mr. Binning (loc. cit., vol. ii., p. 185) 
observes upon the garden of Kohrood, “the Shahzadah called it hihisht ; but 
water and trees are such rarities in this kingdom that any place in which these 
are to be found in abundance is Paradise to a Persian ” 

5 Uhlshti-nn, an oriental exaggeration for a beautiful person 


152 

This quatrain is C 473, B, ii. 564, L 702 (not in B ), and W 489. It 
contains the inspiration of F. v. 74 . 

Yesterday This Day's Madness did prepare; 

To-morrow s Silence, Triumph, or Despair ; 

Drink ! for you know not whence you came, nor why : 

Drink ! for you know not why you go, nor where. 

I Literally, “they matured— they cooked.” Vide q. 117, 1. 4. 

2. Literally, “ profit, interest on capital ” 

3. Compare Beharistiin, ist Garden. 

Thy share has been allotted to thee from all Eternity; 

How long wilt thou distress thyself for a livelihood. 

4. aman shudan means “to be in safety — secure from” 

5. L. reads “thy clamour.*' ^ 





Transcript and Translation 


269 


S?J~i i)T^ <J_S^ ^ L-^Lj I 

1*1 


^ ^ al^j 
yy-^) ui-.vJlj>^ ^L_j 

O}'^ J> ^ l^a.^ 




Since the final end’ of this world is nothingness ; 
suppose thyself to be nothing, and be free. 

^ ^51. ' 

Gaze as I may’ on all sides, 

m the garden flows’ a stream from the river Kausar,’ 
the desert becomes like heaven, thou mayst say hell has 
disappeared,** 

sit thou then in heaven with one heavenly-faced,® 

152. 

Be happy ! they settled’ thy reward ’ yesterday,' 

and beyond the reach of^ all thy longings® is yesterday; 




t/r" 

■J 


j i^ij 


^ hj ^y> 






76 




270 


Notes 


6, Literally, “your to-morrow's business." L reads "the place of your 
tomb to-morrow 


153 

This quatrain is C. 49S, P. 334, B. ii 570, L. 693, S. P 422, B. 6S4, N. 437, 
and W. 464. It is also L 739, the only repetition that I have noticed in that text. 

1. Here we have la'l, meaning the colour red, instead of the "ruby " gem ; 
t,e., " ruby " wine, reinforced by " tulip-coloured." 

2. L. for " pure " ends the line like the first, di sdM. 

3. L. for " pure " in this line uses the common word pdk^^ and ends the line 
as before, dl sdki. 


154 - 

I do not find this quatrain in any of the texts under consideration. We find 
in it the idea of F. v. 72, quoted q 134 (q, v.), which contains the inspiration 
for the remainder of F.'s quatrain. Compare q. 41. 

I. ka::d, fate, fatality. 


(*) 


( 1 ) 



Transcript and Translation 


271 


^ (Si kiU# 


\6r 

^^'— =■ o»^ (3*^ ^5^ 

l_^ |.U^j 


i£>f 

^L^, t-SALi ut ^ j*)>i j3»^ 

^)> >i>j las 

77 

live happily, for without any importunity on thy part yesterday, 
they appointed with certainty what thou wilt do to-morrow,® — 
yesterday ! 

153 - 

Pour out the red wine of pure tulip colour,' 
draw the pure blood “ from the throat of the jar, 
for to-day, beside the wine-cup, there is not, for me, 
one friend who possesses a pure® heart. 

134 - 

To the ear of my heart Heaven whispered secretly: — 

“The commands that are decreed’ thou mayst learn from me: 





272 


Notes 


2. Compare Gulistan, Introduction 

Cloud, and wind, and moon, and sun, move in the sky. 

That thou mayst gain bread, and not eat it unconcerned, 

F or thee all are revolving and obedient, 

It is against the requirements of justice if thou obeyest not.i 


155- 

This quatrain is C 474, P. 229, B. ii. 591, L. 697, S P 442, B. 68S, N. 44S, 
andW. 479 Compare q. 149, which is identical in sentiment and idea, and with 
this quatrain gives us the original of F. v, 12, q. v. stih q. 149 

1 dast dada>t=to happen, or, come to pass. 

2 B. ii , L., N., and W read “two mens of wine.’’- Vide q, 77, note 
and q 104, note 5. Mm (or mann) is a variable measure The mcn-i-tabnsi^ 
equals about 7J lbs., the men-i-shdhl^ equals 144-15 lbs . the men-t-ral^ equals 
30 lbs , and the men-i-shdhiml^ equals ir6 lbs. Herrick uses the term twice to 
indicate a measure. Cf. ’ (Hesperides * To Anthea). 

Behold for us the Naked Graces stay. 

With maunds of roses for to strew the way. 

And again : 

There, filling maunds with cowslips, you 
May find your Amaryllis, 

(76., a Dialogue.) 

3 P., N , and W read “ with a tulip-cheeked one sitting,’’ etc.,^ and C and 
L., “ with a moon-faced one.” ^ 

4, C reads “ That would be a luxury, fit pastime for any sultan.” ° L. reads 
“ It is a luxury the proceeding of any sultan 


156. 

This quatrain is C 469, B. ii. 589, L 694, S. P 441. B 6S5, N 447, and W. 478. 
Whether by accident or by design, it seems to be connected with the preceding 
ruba’i, which is rare in a dlwan arrangement 

flwLsuS* j\ &4jb 

^ ^ t *1.^1 Is 

> 3 } is)-* (*) Id—* (®) 1/- ,/• ji (^) 

iu.li (») eU (8) JSJS 1; (7) ^(6) 



Transcript and Translation 


273 


\bt 

j*Js^ ^ 

^b j)i 

as.w^ y_j d^l^ 

IkLid ^ ii ^ ^A. .jr-. 

\t>'^ 

tjiiJoT «-^JsJ tsA))^ ^ 

S?^' jjb^ j»y ^ 

had I a hand in my own revolutions/ 

I would have saved myself from giddiness.” 

155- 

If a loaf of wheaten-bread be forthcoming/ 
a gourd of wine/ md a thigh-bone of mutton, 
and then, if thou “ and I be sitting in the wilderness,—- 
that would be a joy to which no sultan can set bounds.'* 

156. 

If henceforth two measures of wine come to thy hand, 
drink thou wine in every assembly and congregation, 





274 


Notes 


1. N. and W. read "for he who acts thus/’ ^ eliminating the reference 
to God. 

2. Literally, “ has freedom from care " — "leisure.” 

3. A good specimen of oriental imagery. W. translates " from saintly airs 
like yours, or grief like mine " N translates "he is spared the unpleasantness ot 
seeing moustaches like yours,” etc. C/. M., 1. 2955 

157 - 

This quatrain is C. 494, P. 88. B ii. 590, L. 732, B. 720, W. 490, and it 

i.s No. 30 of E. C 's examples B ii. 593, N. 450 (S P 444) is a paraphrase of it 
We recognise in it the sentiment of F, v 99 : 

Ah Love I could you and I with Him conspire 
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire, 

Would we not shatter it to bits — and then 
Remould it nearer to the Heart’s desire ! 

The quatrain in N. runs : 

If I were free and could use my own volition, 

And independent of the griefs of Fate and of good and bad. 

It were better that in this hole of depravity 
I had neither come, nor gone, nor lived 2 

Orientalists will recognise here a coarseness, common in oriental literature, but 
very rare in Omar Khayyam. 

1 Literally, if my coming was by me ’’ 

2 'alayn-i-kliakt the world, or, the human body. C , P., and L. read " in 
this ruined monastery.”’* 


158 

This quatrain (which, ending in d, is out of its diwan order) is W. 218, 
taken from this MS. P 190, B. ii 235, L. 331, and B. 327 are somewhat similar 
in sentiment, but may be regarded as only corresponding quatrains 

We have here the germ of the opening and closing verses of F 's ** Kuza 
ndinah" section, with their references to " hunger -stricken Ramazan ” (F v. 82), 
and F. v 90 • 

The little Moon look’d in that all were seeking, 

And then they jogg’d each other, " Brother! Brother > 

Now for the Porter’s shoulder-knot a-creaking 1 ” 

1. Ramazan is the ninth month of the Muhammadan year, which is 
observed as a month of fasting and penance, during which rigid Muslims neither 
eat, drink, wash, or caress their wives. The first day of Shawwal is therefore 
eagerly looked forward to in the East 

2. Literally, " of growing, burgeoning,” i.e , Spring. 

3. The kawwdl is the professional story-teller, or improvisatore of the oriental 
coffee-house. 


j (1) 

iJkJ ^ 5 

Ou «X6i 


(*) 



Transcript and Translation 


275 


i j>] 

|6V 

^^X.LJ T jS 

^ >1?^ 

£\s. ^_^jj| dS" ^ 

^ 1 ,^'^ ^ Ai 

i6A 

kX-*T Ui>JljJ sU 

ck^T J[>— s^ ji^ J=L*o pLXi* 

for He who made the world' does not occupy Himself “ 
about moustaches like thine, or a beard like mine.“ 

157- 

Had I charge of the matter ^ I would not have come, 
and likewise could I control my going, where should I go? 
were it not better than that, that in this world ^ 

I had neither come, nor gone, nor lived? 

158. 

The month of Ramazan ' passes and Shawwal comes, 
the season of increase, ^ and joy, and story-tellers “ comes ; 





276 


Notes 


4. pusht means the back, and also the "knot” upon which porters carry 
their burdens. W inclines to read this pusht hast} a load, or pack, rather than 
pusht pusht t which he says he does not understand It is undoubtedly a poetic form 
olpushtii pusht} which means " back to back,” as porters help one another to raise 
their loads. 


The final passage, containing the history of this T;IS , related by the scribe 
Mahmud Yerbudakl, is written in Arabic, as is commonly the case in Persian TMSS. 




Transcript and Translation 


277 


jyj jiSi] d<jT jwT 

JwT JLfe U!^, 

^U) (.sAUI ^lyixoJ) j^l 

J di^l _^ala) Ij Ij _^_Lo 

f*^l ^ <sij-5-*JI dTUiUS' 

• jllJJ 

J}]jC>!i\ ^s> LjBU.:a. 



So 


now comes that time when “ Bottles upon the shoulder ! ” 
they say, — for the porters come and are back to back,^ 


END OF THE QUATRAINS. 

Written by the humble slave, who is in need of mercies 
of Eternal God, Mahmud Yerbudakl. Finished in the last 
decade of Safar, with blessing and victory, in the year Eight 
hundred and sixty-five of the Hijrah of the Prophet, upon 

whom be peace, and benediction, and honour; in the capital 
Shiraz. 

May God most high protect her from evils. 


20 








BIBLIOGRAPHY 




BIBLIOGRAPHY 


The following Bibliography of the Riiba’iyat of Omar Khayyam 
cannot, and does not pretend to anything like completeness. It is 
merely a catalogue of the literature of the subject so far as it is in 
my own possession, or is known to me. For some of the references 
to MSS. and to American editions, I am indebted to Mr. Nathan 
Haskell Dole. 

MSS. 

British Museum, 

1 Original MSS., No. 330, £f. 109, containing 423 ruba’iyat (i8th century). 

2 Original MSS., No. 331, ff. 9%, containing 540 ruba’iyat (a.h. io 33> 

A.D. 1624). 

3 Additional MSS., No. 27,261, containing a few ruba’iyat in Section 15 

(i6th century). 

Bodleian Library ^ Oxford, 

4 MS., No. 524, containing 405 ruba’iyat. 

5 „ No. 525 (this MS.). , , 

6 ,, No. 1210. A collection of Miscellaneous Poems, containing 

several ruba’iyat on pp. 88-90. 

Cambridge University Library, 

7 MS., Add. 1055, ff. Z2S, containing 8oi ruba’iyat. Not dated, but 

its first owner inscribed his name in it in a.h. 1195 (**d. 178*)" 

India Office, 

a MS., No. 2420, pp. 212-267, containing 512 ruba’iyat. 

9 „ No. 2486, pp. I5a-i94> )> 362 „ 

Btitgal Asiatic Society's Library, Calcutta. 

10 MS., No. 1548, containing 516 ruba’iyat. 

Bibliothlqw Nationale, Paris. 

10a MS., Suppltoent Persan 745. A Diwun of Emad dated a.h. 786 
(a.d. 1384). One of the owners of this has written 6 ruba’iyat of 
Omar upon the blank side of fol. 64, in a handwriting of the end 

of the 9th or beginning of the 10th century, a.h. They are 

i. = L. 769; ii.=L. 84; iii.=L. iso; iv. = L. 3®* i v. = L. 5451 
not in L. ; vii. = L. 40. And on the leaf centring the colophon 
ho has written a variant of q. 112 of the Bodleian MS. 



282 


Bibliography 


loh Ancien Fonds 349, ff. 181-aio, 213 ruba’iyat, dated a.h. 920 (a.d. 1514). 

IOC Supplement Persan 823, if. 92-113) 349 ruba’iyat, dated a.h. 934 
(a.d. 1527). 

lod Supplement Persan 826, ff. 391-394, 75 ruba’iyat, dated a.h. 937 
(a.d. 1530). _ 

IOC Suppl6ment Persan 793, f. 104, 6 rnba’iyat in an nth century (a.h.) 
handwriting. 

10/ Supplement Persan 833. A MS. of the Atash Kadah, containing 31 
ruba’iyat, dated a.h. 1317 (a.d. 1802). 

Koniglichc Bihliothck^ Berlin. 

II MS., No. 35, containing 338 ruba’iyat. 

13 „ No. 666, ,, 65 „ 

13 „ No. 671, „ a collection of ruba’iyat, many of which 

appear to be Omar’s. 

14 MS., No. 673, ditto. 

15 „ No. 672, containing 40 ruba’iyat. 

16 „ No. 674, „ 380 „ 

17 „ No. 697, „ 43 „ 

Herzogliche Bibliothek, Gotha. 

18 A MS. and a Turkish version by Daulat Shah. 

iSa The Bankipur MS. This was discovered at Bankipur at the moment 
that these sheets were leaving the press. It is dated a.h. 961-3 
(a.d. 1554), and contains 603 ruba’iyat. It is the largest collection 
known of so early a date. 

LITHOGRAPHS. 

1 9 Calcutta, 1836, containing 493 ruba’iyat. 


I9^^ Teheran, 

1861, 

5> 

460 

9J 

30 

Tabriz, 

1868, 

>S 

453 

7i 

31 

Lucknow, 

1868, 

»» 

716 

9) 

33 

a 

1878, 

t9 

763 

99 


33, 34 Other Lucknow editions were issued in 1883 and 1883, but I have 
not seen them. 

35 Lucknow, 1894, containing 770 ruba’iyat. 

36 St. Petersburg, 1888, „ 453 „ 

37 In the Atash Kadah of Azr of Isfahan, Bombay, a.h. 1299 

(a.d. 1882), 31 ruba’iyat. (Vide supra, lof.) 

38 A selection of poems published at Teheran, 1857, containing 230 

ruba’iyat of Omar, and other ruba’iyat of Baba Tahir, Abu Sa’id, 
Attar, etc. 

39 I have a similar collection lithographed at Bombay, in a . h . 1397 

(a.d. 1880), containing 756 ruba’iyat attributed to Omar. 

PRINTED TEXTS. 

30 Nicolas, Paris, 1867, containing 464 ruba’iyat. Described elsewhere, 
. 31 Whinfield, London, 1883 „ 500 ,, „ „ 



Bibliography 


283 


FOREIGN TRANSLATIONS. 

32 J. Von Hammer- PurgstalL Gesduchte der Schonen Redekunste 

Persiens. Vienna, 1818, pp. 80-83, containing 25 quatrains. 

33 The fourth part of A. Wolff’s “ Die Classiker aller Zeiten und 

Nationen” (Berlin, 1860-77) is entitled “Die National Literatur 
sammtliche Vblken des Orients,” by A. E. Wollheim da Fonseca; 
pp. 206-209 contain an essay upon Omar, and nineteen of Von 
Hammer- PurgstalPs quatrains, which are stigmatised as inaccu- 
rate and badly put together. 

34 Garcin de Tassy. Note sur les Ruba’iyat de Omar Khaiyam. Paris, 

1857, containing 10 ruba’iyat with prose translations. Vid& 
Introduction. 

35 A. F, von Schack. Strophen des Omar Chijam. Stuttgart, 1878 ; 

contains 336 quatrains. 

36 F, Bodenstedt. Die Lieder und Spriiche des Omar Chajjam. 

Breslau, 1881. 3rd edition, 1882; 4th edition, 1889; contains 
467 quatrains. 

36^ J. Pizzi. Storia della Poesia Persiana, Turin, 1894. Translation ot 
63 ruba’iyat. 

366 V. Rugarli. Died Quartine di Omar Khayyam tradotte dal Persiano. 
Bologna, 1895. 

37 V. Rugarli. “ Dodici Quartine di Omar Khayyam tradotte dal 

Persiano.” Bologna, 1895 ; 12 quatrains translated from Nicolas 
(77j 83, 85, 94, 138, 152, 235, 269, 346, 370, 396, and another). 

38 Bela Harrach [Translation]. Eastern Pearls by the Persian Cynic 

Poet, Omar Khayyam. Budapest, n.d. ; 130 pp., i6mo. (Follows 
the order of Nicolas.) 


EDWARD FITZGERALD’S TRANSLATION. 


39 

ist 

edition, 

London, 

1859. 

Quaritch. 

Containing 75 quatrains. 

40 

2nd 


II 

1868. 

II 

II no „ 

41 

3rcl 

II 

II 

1872. 

II 

II lOI „ 

42 

4th 

1) 

»i 

1879. 

II 

II loi „ 

43 

5th 


II 

1889, 

Macmillan. 

In the “ Letters and Literary 


Remains of Edward FitzGerald,” edited by W. Aldis Wright. 

44 The same, reprinted separately. London, 1890; Macmillan. This 

has been reprinted as required. 

45 An anonymous edition privately printed at Madras (Adiyar), 1862, 

containing a reprint of the 1859 edition, of Garcin de Tassy’s 
Note (No. 34, supra) f and Professor Cowell’s article (No 69, infra) ^ 
with a translation of a few additional quatrains. 

46 A pirated edition, got up by Mr. Quilter and a few friends. London, 

T883, J. Campbell; royal 4to. 

47 An edition made up from all four FitzGerald editions, printed on his 

own private press (the Ashendene Press), i8g6, by H. St.John 
Hornby and his sisters. Fifty copies only; printed for private 
circulation. 



284 


Bibliography 


AMERICAN REPRINTS, 

48 ist American, from the 3rd London edition. Boston, 1878. (The 

23rd edition of this was published in 1894.) 

49 Elihu Vedder’s Illustrated edition. Boston, 1884; folio. 

49a A small quarto print of the text alone was issued at the same time as 
the above, printed on one side only of strips of paper, the fore- 
edge being left uncut, like a Chinese or Japanese book. It has 45 
pages, and no title-page, imprint, or date, A Note on page i ex- 
plains that it is printed as an accompaniment to the Vedder 
illustrations. The quatrains are in the order in which Vedder 
rearranged them, and FitzGerald’s Introduction and Notes come 
after the poem, at the end of the book. 

50 The same, reduced in size only. Boston, 1886; 4to. 

51 ,, Popular edition. Boston, 1894; small 4to. With an 
Introduction, etc., by M, K. 

53 The Grolier Club edition. New York, 1885. 

53 The Works of Edward FitzGerald. Boston, 1887. Two vols. Vol. L 

contains the Ruba’iyat. 

54 The Ruba’iyat, separately printed, with Introduction and M, K.’s 

Notes. Boston, 1888. 

55 Pamphlet edition, issued at 20 cents, in a green paper wrapper. 

San Francisco, 1891. 

56 The Bibelot edition. Portland (Maine), 1893. Mosher, 

57 The Old World edition. Portland (Maine), 1895. Mosher, 

58 The St. Paul edition. St. Paul (Minnesota), 1B95 and 1897. Porter, 

59 The Multivariorum Edition of Nathan Haskell Dole, in 3 vols, 

Boston, 1895 (J. Knight Co.). This monumental work is a 
marvel of careful collation and compilation. In it the fullest 
references are given to all other translations, and the four 
editions are minutely compared. All the best magazine litera- 
ture is included, and most of the poetry inspired by Omar. 
It is a work that no student of Omar can do without; but I 
understand that the representatives of Edward FitzGerald 
have refused to allow it to be published in England. 

59rt The same, 2nd edition, greatly enlarged and illustrated, Boston, 
1897, L. C. Page & Co. 

There are other American reprints appearing almost daily, which are 
copied or re-arranged from Messrs. Macmillan’s current edition. 

OTHER ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS. 

60 E. H. Whinfield. ist edition, 1882; containing 253 quatrains. 

61 „ „ 2nd „ 1883; „ 500 „ and 

the text. 

62 E. H. Whinfield. 3rd edition, 1893; containing 267 quatrains. 

63 Anonymous, [E. A, Johnson.] “The Dialogue of the Gulshan i 

Raz . . .” With Selections from the Kuba’iyat of Omar 
Khayyam. London, 1887. 



Bibliography 285 

64 Louisa S. Costello. ‘'The Rose Garden of Persia.’* London, 18S7; 

pp. 66-76. Omar Khayyam. 

65 John L. Garner. “The Strophes of Omar Khayyam.” Milwaukee, 

1888; izmo. 

66 Justin H. McCarthy. A Prose translation, entirely printed in capital 

letters. London, i88g. 

67 There is an American reprint of this published in the Bibelot Series 

by Mosher^ Portland (Maine), 1896, in which the translations 
are put into ordinary print and numbered. 

67« The Quatrains of Omar Kheyyam of Nishapour, now first com- 
pletely done into English verse from the Persian, in accordance 
with the original forms, with a biographical and critical intro- 
duction by John Payne, etc. London, 1898. Printed for the 
Villon Society by private subscription, and for private circulation 
only. 


MAGAZINE ARTICLES. 

To attempt to compile anything like a complete catalogue of these 
would be to attempt a vain task. The following are articles that I have 
myself had occasion to consult, and consider to be of sufficient importance 
to warrant their inclusion in a bibliography of Omar Khayyam : 

68 Journal Asiatique (Paris), No. g, 1857. Garcin de Tassy. “ Note 

sur les Ruba’iyat de Omar Kha’iyam.” 

69 Calcutta Review, January, 1858. E. B. Cowell. Described elsewhere. 

70 Le Moniteur Universel, December 8, 1B67. “ Les Quatrains 

d’Omar.” 

71 North American Review, October, 1869. C. E. Norton. Review of 

Nicolas’s edition and Fitzgerald’s 2nd edition, 

72 Fraser’s Magazine, June, 1870. “ Omar Khayyam, the Astronomer- 

Poet of Persia.” 

73 Old and New (Boston, U.S.A,), May, 1872. The Rev. J. W. Chad- 

wick. “ The Poems of Omar Khayyam.” 

74 Canadian Monthly (Toronto). Vol. X. (1876), p. 399. Fidelis 

[A. M. Machar]. “An Old Persian Poet.” 

75 Contemporary Review, March, 1876. H. Schiitz- Wilson. “ The 

Ruba’iyat of Omar Khayyam.” 

76 The Galaxy (New York), September, 1876. J. H. Siddons. “A 

Persian Poet,” 

77 Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, No. 46, 1877. P. Whalley 

and C. S. Muradabad. “Metrical Translations from the Qua- 
trains of ’Umar Khayyam ” (with text; 9 quatrains). 

78 Atlantic Monthly, April, 1878. Thos. B. Aldrich. “A Persian Poet.” 

79 Fraser’s Magazine, May, 1879. Jessie E. Cadell. “The True Omar 

Khayydm.” 

80 Academy, January 17, 1885. Whitley Stokes. “Translation of 18 

Ruba’iyat.” 


21 



286 Bibliography 

81 Saturday Review, January i6, 1886. (J. H. McCarthy.) 

82 Macmillan’s Magazine, November, 1887. H. G. Keene. “ Omar 

Khayyam.” 

83 The New Englander (New Haven, U.S.A.). Vol.XLIX. (1888), p. 328. 

W. L. Phelps. “Schopenhauer and Omar Khayydm.” 

84 Harvard Monthly (Cambridge, Mass.), December, 1885. A. B. 

Houghton. “ A Study in Despair.” 

85 Fortnightly Review, July, 1889. E. Gosse. “Edward FitzGerald. 

86 Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, November, i8Sg. F. H. Groome. 

“Edward FitzGerald.” 

87 Cornhill Magazine, December, i8go. “Omar Khayyam’s Ruba’iyat.’ 

(Translation of 10 Ruba’iyat.) 

88 National Review, December, 1890. C. J. Pickering. “ ’Umar of 

Naishapur.” 

89 The Nation, October 26, 1893. Moncure D. Conway. “The Omar 

Khayyam Cult in England.” 

90 English Illustrated Magazine, February, 1894. E. Clodd. “Edward 

FitzGerald.” 

91 Calcutta Review, 1895. H. G. Keene. “ Loose Stanzas.” 

92 II Convito (Rome), June, 1895, pp. 397 - 4 I 5 - A. de Bosis. “Note su 

Omar Khayyam e su Elihu Vedder.” 

93 Fortnightly Review, December, i8g6. J. A. Murray. “ Omar 

Khaiyam.” 

93^^ Indian Magazine, March 1898. B. B. Nagarkar. “ Lecture on 
Omar Khaiyam.” 

I have purposely avoided Foreign Magazine Articles, except 
where they are of great importance. 

I do not propose to give references to poems in praise or in 
imitation of Omar. Their name is legion. The most notable will 
be found among the works of Andrew Lang, Mathilde Blind, 
Christopher Cranch, Theodore Watts, and Rosamund Marriott 
Watson, R. le Gallienne has filled the upper half of a small 
book with such verses. All these find a place in Mr, N. H. Dole’s 
monumental edition. 


GENERAL ITEMS. 

94 One of the most interesting and at the same time unattainable items 

in the literature of Omar is the fulfilment of FitzGerald’s idea of 
putting the quatrains into Latin verse, as follows : 

“ Ruba’iyat of Omar Khayydm, the Astronomer-poet of Persia, 
rendered into English verse by Edward FitzGerald, and into 
Latin verse by Herbert Wilson Greene, M.A., B.C.L., Fellow 
of Magdalen College, Oxford.” Privately Printed (Oxford), 1893. 

95 There should also be mentioned Miss Liza Lehmann’s Song Cycle, 

“In a Persian Garden,” in which all, or parts of, thirty-one 
quatrains are arranged for four voices. It was performed for 



Bibliography 


287 


the first time (in public) at St. James’s Hall, 14th December, 
1896, and is fully described in the “Programme and Analytical 
Remarks” for that evening [ChappdT). 

96 V. Schukovsky. “ Omar Khayyam. I ' Strastvuyushchiya Chet- 

veroctishiya.’ ” (rm7J5. : Omar Khayyam and the “ wandering ” 

Quatrains.) St. Petersburg, 1898. 

97 E. Heron- Allen. “ Some Sidelights upon Edward FitzGerald’s 

Poem, ‘The Ruba’iyat of Omar Khayyam.’ Being the sub- 
stance of a Lecture delivered at the Grosvenor Crescent Club 
and Women’s Institute on the sznd March, 1898.” London, 
1898. 


21 — 2 




SOME SIDELIGHTS UPON EDWARD 

FITZGERALD’S POEM, 

‘‘THE RUBA’IYAT OF OMAR KHAYYAM.” 

Being the Substance of a Lecture delivered at the 
Grosvenor Crescent Club and Women’s Institute 
ON THE 22ND MaRCH, 1898. 


There is material for much subtle argument — material 
indeed for discussion such as is dear to the souls of the self- 
proclaimed Wise Men of the East — in the following problem : 
Did Omar Khayyam give fame to Edward FitzGerald, or did 
Edward FitzGerald give European fame to Omar Khayyam ? 
And by fame I mean, not the respect paid to a great poet by 
students of the language in which he wrote, but that far- 
reaching and universal popularity which enshrouds the names 
of Edward FitzGerald and Omar Khayyam in every quarter of 
the known world where the English language is spoken by 
natives or colonists. Though the recent utterances of Colonel 
Hay, the United States Ambassador to this country, may seem, 
even to Omar’s most fervent devotees, a trifle exaggerated,^ 
it is not, I think, too much to say that, even in this latter 
half of the 19th century, when the cult of particular poets 
has drawn bands of men and women together and given us 
Shakespeare Societies, Shelley Societies, Browning Societies, 
and the like, there is no freemasonry so infallible, no sympathy 

1. Daily Chronicle, gth December^ 1897. — “ The exquisite beauty, the fault- 
less form, the singular grace of those amazing stanzas, "were not more wonderful 
than the depth and breadth of their profound philosophy, their knowledge of 
life, their dauntless courage, their serene facing of the ultimate problems of life 
and death. ... I came upon a literal translation of the Ruba'iyat, and I saw 
that not the least remarkable quality of FitzGerald's poem was its fidelity to the 
original. . . . It is not to the disadvantage of the later poet that he followed so 
closely in the footsteps of the earlier. . . . There is not a hill-post in India or a 
village in England where there is not a coterie to whom Omar Khayyam is a 
familiar friend and a bond of union." 



2 go 


Some Sidelights 


so profound^ as that which unites the lovers of the quatrains of 
Omar Khayyam, in the form in which they have been made 
known to us by the beautiful, the eternal poem of “ Old Fitz ” 
— the Laird of Littlegrange. 

The incunabulum, the earliest archive of the cult, is 
admittedly the single verse attributed to the ghost of Omar 
(by whom it was recited in a dream to his mother) and re- 
corded in the History of the Religion of the Ancient Persians, 
Parthians and Medes,” by Dr. Thomas Hyde, Regius Pro- 
fessor of Arabic in the University of Oxford, in the year 1700.® 
This is the quatrain which was rendered by FitzGerald in the 
Introduction to his poem : 

O thou who burn’st in Heart for those who burn 
In Hell, whose fires thyself should feed in turn ; 

How long be crying, “ Mercy on them, God I ” 

Why, who art thou to teach, and He to learn.*' 

The German renderings of Josef von Hammer-PurgstalU and 
Friedrich Riickert® would not, by themselves have called Omar 
to the position which he holds to-day among the poets of the 
world, and without the poem of FitzGerald the record of the 
astronomer-poet might have closed with the publication of his 
treatise upon Algebra and the higher mathematics, which was 
given to the world in 1851 by Dr. Woepcke, Professor of Mathe- 


2 ” Veterum Persarum et Parthorum et Medorum religionis historia " 
Oxford. 1700; 2nd Edition, 1760. Appendix, pp. 529, 530. 

3 Dr. Hyde's rendering runs : 

O combustus combustus Combustione ! 

Vae, a te est Ignis Gehennae Accensisl 

Quousque dicis, OmaYo mismcors esto ? 

Quousque Deum, Caj>ut Misericoydm, docebis ^ 
which is a more correct rendering than FitzGerald's of the original, which is 
C I, L. 769, B 755, S P 453, B. ii. 537, W. 4S8, N 459. Persian; 

y ^ ^ 

y I; ^ ji 6^ jy' 

4, “ Geschichte der schonen Redekiinste Persians, &c.'* Vienna, i8i8, 
p. 80, 20. 

5. "Grammatik, Poetik und Rhetorik der Perser," herausgegeben von 
W Pertsch. Gotha, 1S74. 



upon Edward FitzGerald's Poem 2gi 

matics in the University of Bonn Dr, Woepcke has 

pointed out in the Introduction to his translation that the 
Algebra of Omar Khayyam first attracted the notice of 
mathematicians in 1742, when a Dutch savant, Gerard 
Meerman, called attention to a manuscript of his treatise, 
bequeathed by one Warner to the town of Leyden. The 
citation occurs in the Introduction to Meerman’s Specimen 
calculi fiuxionalis.” Succeeding mathematicians called atten- 
tion to the work ,* but the first important consideration that it 
received was at the hands of L. A. Sedillot, who announced in 
the Nouveau Journal A siatique, in May, 1834, the discovery of an 
incomplete MS. of the same treatise in the Bibliotheque Royale 
in Paris. It was reserved for Professor Libri to discover, in the 
same place, a complete MS. of the work, and it was firom the 
Leyden MS., the Sedillot fragment, and the Libri MS. that 
Dr. Woepcke edited his admirable text and translation. In his 
Introduction Dr. Woepcke gives a translation of the account 
of Omar from the Tarikh ul hukama of Jamal ud Din ’Ali, which 
has been so often quoted in articles upon the poet,^ and 
observes upon it that Omar ‘'is a detestable man, but an un- 
equalled astronomer ; he is perhaps a heretic, but surely he is a 
philosopher of the first order.” This opinion would appear to have 
been shared by Elphinstone,® who, in his account of Cabul, places 
on record what may, perhaps, be looked upon as an undesirable 
precursor of the Omar Khayyam Club. He says: "Another 
sect, which is sometimes confounded with the Sufis, is one 
which bears the name of Moollah Zukkee, who was its great 
patron in Cabul. Its followers hold that all the prophets were 
impostors and all revelation an invention. They seem very 
doubtful of the truth of a future state, and even of the being of 

6. “L’Algcbre d'Omar Alkh^yyami,” publiee, traduite et accompagnee 
d’extraits de manuscrits inedits par F. Woepcke. Paris, 1S51. 

7. Vide Nathan H. Dole’s Multivariorum edition of the "Ruba’iyat of 
Omar Khayyem." Boston (Mass.), 1896. Vol. ii., pp. 457-461. 

8. The Hon. Mountstuart Elphinstone. ** An account of the Kingdom of 
Caubul and its Dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India.'* London, 1815. 
Ch. V,, p. 209. 



2g2 


Some Sidelights 


a God. Their tenets appear to be very ancient^ and are 
precisely those of the old Persian poet Khayyam (sic, Kheioom), 
whose works exhibit such specimens of impiety as probably 
never were equalled in any other language. Khayyam dwells 
particularly on the existence of evil, and taxes the Supreme 
Being with the introduction of it in terms which can scarcely 
be believed. The Sufis have unaccountably pressed this 
writer into their service ; they explain away some of his 
blasphemies by forced interpretations ; others they represent 
as innocent freedoms and reproaches such as a lover may pour 
out against his beloved. The followers of Moollah Zukkee are 
said to take the full advantage of their release from the fear of 
hell and the awe of a Supreme Being, and to be the most 
dissolute and unprincipled profligates in the kingdom. Their 
opinions nevertheless are cherished in secret, and are said to 
be very prevalent among the licentious nobles of the Court 
of Shah Mahmoud.” And, notwithstanding that Professor 
Cowell made the Algebra of Omar Khayyam the text for his 
article in the Calcutta Review (January, 1858), here, but for 
FitzGerald, might have rested the fame of him who, as Dr. 
Hyde described him, was ‘‘one of the Eight who settled the 
Jalali era, in 1079,” a computation of time which, says Gibbon,® 
surpassed the Julian and approached the accuracy of the 
Gregorian style. 

The object of the present essay, however, is, not to 
analyse the quatrains composed by, or attributed to Omar 
Khayyam, but to examine by the light of diligent research the 
poem of Edward FitzGerald, which was founded upon and 
took its title from those quatrains, or (ruba’iyat). 

Almost from the day upon which FitzGerald’s poem first 
saw the light, a controversy, in which question and doubt 
have been uppermost, has raged round the problem of how 
far it can claim to be regarded as a correct rendering — I will 

g. "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” chap. Ivii., Gibbing's 
edition, i8go, vol, iv., p. 180. Vide also Dr. Hyde, loc, cit., chap, xvi., pp. 200-211. 



upon Edward FitzGerald's Poem 


293 


not say translation, for that is an expression that cannot be 
properly applied to it — of the original quatrains. I have 
remarked in another place, A translation pure and simple 
it is not, hut a translation in the most classic sense of the 
term it undoubtedly is.” Since expressing that view, however 
I have had occasion to modify it somewhat. Prof. Charles Eliot 
Norton has summed up the position in a passage unsur- 
passed in the literature of criticism.^^ He says : FitzGerald 
is to be called ‘ translator ’ only in default of a better word, 
one which should express the poetic transfusion of a poetic 
spirit from one language to another, and the re-representation 
of the ideas and images of the original in a form not altogether 
diverse from their own, but perfectly adapted to the new 
conditions of time, place, custom and habit of mind in which 
they reappear. ... It is the work of a poet inspired by the 
work of a poet ; not a copy, but a reproduction; not a transla- 
tion, but the re-delivery of a poetic inspiration.” 

FitzGerald’s poem is, however, something more than 
this. Stated in the fewest possible words, the poem familiar 
to English readers as the ^'Ruba’iyat of Omar Khayyam ” is 
the expressed result of FitzGerald’s entire course of Persian 
studies. There are many isolated lines and ideas, and more 
than one entire quatrain for which diligent study has revealed 
no corresponding passages in the original quatrains of Omar 
Khayyam — notably, for instance, the quatrain : 

O Thou who Man of baser Earth did’st make, 

And ev’n with Paradise devised the Snake: 

For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man 
Is blacken’d — Man’s forgiveness give — and take I 

and the opening quatrain, which Mr. Aldis Wright, the editor 
of his Letters and Literary Remains,” says is entirely his 
own.” Even Professor Cowell has said, ex cathedra, ‘‘ there 
is no original for the line about the snake,” and attri- 

10. Vide Introduction, p. xxxi. 

11. In the North American Review, October, 1869. 

12. London, 1889. Macmillan, 3 vols. 



294 


Some Sidelights 


butes the last line to a mistake of FitzGerald’s in 
translating a quatrain from Nicolas^ which led him to 
"'invent” the line. We shall presently see that this is 
not so, save in so far as that FitzGerald took these lines by 
a process of automatic cerebration, not from Omar, but from 
other sources. The manner in which he wrote his poem must 
be borne in mind. Professor Cowell, writing to me (under 
date 8th July, 1897), says: ""I am quite sure that he did not 
make a literal prose version first ; he was too fond of getting 
the strong vivid impression of the original as a whole. He 
pondered this over and over afterwards, and altered it in his 
lonely walks, sometimes approximating nearer to the original, 
and often diverging farther. He was always aiming at some 
strong and worthy equivalent; verbal accuracy he disregarded.” 
Composing his poem in this manner, with the original ruba’iyat 
not before him, all the impressions stored in his brain as the 
result of his extensive studies of Persian poetry, and Persian 
history, manners and customs, were present in his mind, and 
the echoes of those studies are clearly recognisable in the lines 
and passages which have defied the research of students of the 
original quatrains. 

That no one should have called attention to this before, 
surprises me, for the process was indicated clearly by Pro- 
fessor Cowell in his note upon the opening lines of quatrain 
No. 33 : 

Earth could not answer; nor the seas that mourn 

In flowing Purple, o£ their Lord forlorn. 

FitzGerald corresponded with Professor Cowell upon these 
two very lines — or rather upon the idea contained in them — 
in March, 1857, t)ut it was reserved for the latter to call atten- 
tion to the fact that they were taken from the Mantik-ut-Tair 
(the Parliament, or Language of Birds) of Ferid-ud-din Attar. 
F'itzGerald himself never acknowledged in his printed works 
the assistance of anyone, or (except in the case of Mr. Binning’s 
Journal) the sources of any of his information, but I have 
followed the clue given by Professor Cowell, and by dint of 



iipon Edward FitzGerald's Poem 


295 


reading every work to which FitzGerald refers in his letters, 
during the time when he was composing his poem, I have 
traced the actual originals of those debatable lines, and 
discovered the sources from which his information concern- 
ing Persia and the Persians was derived. 

FitzGerald, in 1845, was repelled rather than attracted by 
Oriental matters, as we know from the contempt he expressed 
concerning Eliot Warburton’s “The Crescent and the Cross,” 
published in that year ; but in 1846 Professor Cowell was 
translating some Odes of Hafiz/^ and sent some of his render- 
ings to FitzGerald, who was greatly impressed by them. It 
was not, however, until 1853 that, fired by Cowell’s enthusiasm, 
he addressed himself seriously to the study of the Persian 
language, reading as a foundation Sir Wm. Jones’s Persian 
Grammar, which exactly suited him, as all the examples of the 
rules are given in beautiful lines from Hafiz, Sa’adi, and other 
Persian poets. He records buying a Gulistan (of Sa’adi) “ 
whilst still studying the Grammar, but it did not very greatly 
influence his later work. In 1854 he read and paraphrased 
Jaml’s “Salaman and Absal,” which he printed for private 
circulation in 1856, and reprinted in 1871. After Salaman 
came Hafiz, the text he used being the Calcutta edition of 
1791, bought for him by Professor Cowell. In 1856 he had 
received, also from Professor Cowell, a copy of the MS. of 
Omar Khayyam, which Cowell had found uncatalogued 
and unknown among the Ouseley MSS. in the Bodleian 
Library at Oxford. It was about this time also that he 
began to correspond with the eminent French Orientalist 
Garfin de Tassy, about the latter’s critical essay upon the 
Mantik-ut-Tair of FerTd-ud*dm Attar, with which he had 
already become acquainted in De Sacy’s notes to the Pend 
Namah of the same poet;^® and early in 1857 he borrowed 

13. These were not published until September, 1S54, when they appeared 
anonymously in Eraser's Magazine, and called forth further praise from FitzGerald. 

14. E. B. Eastwick. “ The Gulistan, or Rose Garden.” London, 1S52. 

15. " Pend-Nameh, ou Livre des Conseils de Ferid eddin Attar.” Traduit 
et public par M. le SUvestre de Sacy. Paris, 1819. At p, 41 of this work 
the parable of Jesus and the bitter water in the jar is given at length in French 



296 


Some Sidelights 


a MS. of the original poem from Napoleon Newton, the 
associate of Stephen Austin, the Oriental publisher at Hertford. 
The two poems, the Ruba’iyat and the Mantik-ut-Tair, 
took violent hold of his imagination, and already, in 
March, 1857, had completed “ twenty pages of a 

metrical sketch of the Mantik.” This sketch, though even- 
tually finished, was never published until after his death, when 
it was included in his Letters and Literary Remains ” ,* but the 
influence of the original upon his Ruba’iyat of Omar Khayyam 

and Persian, and at pp. 168-173 there is a complete tcsume of the entire Mantik- 
ut-Tair Though we know that this volume formed part of FitzGerald’s course of 
study, I have not made it one of the works to be analysed in this essay, for the 
reason that its teaching was, without doubt, merged in that of the same author's 
Mantik-ut-Tair. At the same time, besides the passage cited in Note 38, there are 
several passages to which one might refer in such an essay as this, exempli gratia, 
the story from Sa’adi's Mujaliss, which is worthy of transcription in its entirety : 
“One day, Ibrahim bin Adhem was seated at the gate of his palace, and his 
pages stood near him in a line A dervish, bearing the insigna of his condition, 
came up and attempted to enter the palace ‘ Old man,’ said the pages, 'whither 
goest thou? ’ *I am going into this caravanserai,’ said the old man. The pages 
answered, ' It is not a caravanserai , it is the palace of Ibrahim, Shah of Balkh.' 
Ibrahim caused the old man to be brought before him, and said to him : ' Darvish, 
this is my palace ’ 'To whom,’ asked the old man, ‘did this palace originally 
belong ? * 'To my grandfather.’ ' After him, who was its owner ? ’ ' My father.' 
' And to whom did it pass on his death ^ ’ ‘To me ’ ' When you die, to whom 
will it belong?' ‘To my son.’ ‘Ibrahim,’ said the Darvish, ‘a place whither 
one enters and whence another departs is not a palace, it is a caravanserai.’ " 
We have here a powerful suggestion of FitzGerald’s 17th and 45th quatrains: 
Think, in this batter’d Caravanserai, 

Whose Portals are alternate Night and Day, 

How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp 
Abode his destined Hour, and went his way. 

’Tis but a Tent where takes his one day’s rest 
A Sultan to the realm of Death addrest : 

The Sultan rises, and the dark Ferrash 
Strikes, and prepares it for another Guest. 

At pp. 236-244, we have a collection of passages in eulogy of generosity, 
and at p. 309, de Sacy quotes an ode of Shahi containing the image of the rose 
tearing asunder its garment of purple silk, 

y U 

which suggests FitzGerald’s No. 14 : 

Look to the blowing Rose about us, '' Lo, 

Laughing," she says, "into the world I blow, 

At once the silken tassel of my Purse 
Tear, and its Treasure on the Garden throw." 

Such parallels might be greatly extended, but, for the most part, the images 
are repeated in the Mantik-ut-Tair. 



%ipon Edward FitzGerald's Poem 


297 


was so great, that whole quatrains and a great many isolated 
lines came, consciously or unconsciously, from the Mantik into 
his poem. It is not in any way surprising that this was so, for 
Attar's poems are a perfect reflection of the Ruba’iyat of Omar, 
on which it is more than probable that much of their philo- 
sophy was founded, seeing that Ferld-ud-din Attar was born 
at Nishapur in Khorasan four years before Omar Khayyam 
died there, and was, no doubt, brought up to revere the 
recently deceased poet-mathematician and his works. In 1857 
FitzGerald received from De Tassy his magnificent text of the 
Mantik; but De Tassy’s translation was not published until 
1863, so FitzGerald had nothing but the introductory analysis 
to help him. Professor Cowell being at that time in India. By 
June, 1857, he had received from Professor Cowell a copy of 
the MS. of Omar Khayyam in the Bengal Asiatic Society’s 
Library at Calcutta,^® and addressed himself at once to the 
arduous task of deciphering it. We may infer with some 
degree of certainty that his poem was primarily constructed 
on the foundation of the Bodleian MS. from the fact that 
within three weeks of the arrival of the Calcutta MS. he had 
practically finished the first draft of his poem, having surveyed 
the Calcutta MS. “rather hastily,” as he himself says. During 
the remaining months of 1857 he polished and prepared his 
poem for the press, and sent it (in January, 1838) to Fraser's 
Magazine for publication; but the editor of that eminently 
respectable serial did not consider it, evidently, up to the 
standard demanded by his other contributors and readers, and 
in January, 1839, FitzGerald took it away from him, added a 
few of the more antinomian quatrains that he had suppressed 
out of consideration for Fraser’s families, schools, and the 
Young Person, and gave them to our mutual friend “little 
Quaritch ” to sell. The oft-told tale of how the edition fell 

16. This MS. has been lost or stolen, so that Professor Cowell's copy is now 
the only means of ascertaining what were the materials from which FitzGerald 
worked. A copy is now being remade from Professor Cowell’s copy for the 
Asiatic Society's Library in Calcutta. 



2g8 


So}m Sidelights 


from grace to the penny box,” and rose thence to seven 
guineas a copy, has become a gem of classic antiquity, like 
most of the anecdotes concerning Omar, FitzGerald and Fitz- 
Gerald’s poem. This particular story, however, has paled 
into insignificance, for a copy of this first edition was sold at 
auction on the loth February, i8g8, to Mr. Quaritch for £21.^ 
and I have received an offer from America of ^45 for a copy. 
Meanwhile, he had read Mr. Binning’s charming journal of his 
travels in Persia,^'’' and culled therefrom the historical, topo- 
graphical, legendary and sociological information that is to be 
found in the notes to his Ruba’iyat, including a prose transla- 
tion of the quatrain which appeared in his second edition, and 
which he quotes in his notes to the third and fourth editions : 

The Palace that to Heav’n his pillars threw, 

And Kings the forehead on his threshold drew — 

I sav/ the solitary Ringdove there, 

And “Coo, coo, coo,” she cried; and “Coo, coo, coo.”^® 

(C. 419, L. 627, B. 619, S. P. 347, ;p. 140, B. ii. 459, W. 392, 
N. 350.) This is merely quoted by Mr. Binning, without 
reference to Omar Khayyam, but FitzGerald identified it, of 
course, in the Calcutta MS. where it occurs, though it is not 
to be found in the Bodleian MS.“ 

In 1867, Mons. Nicolas published his text and prose 
translation,^® which, as FitzGerald tells us, “ reminded him of 

17. Robert B. M Binning. "A Journal of Two Years' Travel in Persia, 
Ceylon, &c.’' London, 1857 Vol. ii , p 20. 

^ ^ ^ fiJi=s»U Ji 6^ 

19. FitzGerald had also before him a very similar passage from the Pend- 
Nameh of Attar [vid& Note 15), to which de Sacy had appended notes from Omar 
Khayyam and other poets, which impressed it on his mind. The passage runs as 
follows: "Though thou may’st rear thy palace towards heaven, thou wilt one clay 
be buried beneath the earth Though thy power and strength cciual those of 
Rustam, thou shalt be one day reduced like BahnTm to the abode of the tomb." 

jtj j ^ 

OJ! uajji Jj uisjjj f ^ 

20. J B. Nicolas. " Les Quatrains de Kheyam traduits du I’crsan." 
Paris, 18G7. 



upon Edward FitzGerald's Poem 


299 


several things and instructed him in others,” and his interest 
being once more aroused in Omar Khayyam, he prepared his 
second edition (that of 1868), in which we find several new 
quatrains (ten in all), the originals of most of which are common 
to Nicolas’s translation and the Calcutta MS. FitzGerald’s 
note upon the dying utterance of Nizam ul Mulk came from 
De Tassy’s translation of the Mantik-ut-Tair, which he sent to 
FitzGerald in exchange for a copy of this translation by Nicolas. 
After this, FitzGerald practically dropped the study of Persian 
literature ; he reduced the number of his quatrains to loi, and 
gave us what for all practical purposes was the final form of 
his poem in the third edition (of 1872). 

In this recapitulation of FitzGerald’s study of the Ruba’iyat, 

I fear that I have perforce travelled over well-trodden ground, 
but it has been necessary for the purpose I have in view of 
showing how those studies influenced his poem. We have, 
then, as his acknowledged materials: 

(i.) The Odes of Hafiz, translated by Professor 
Cowell in 1846, and published in 1854, 
and later, the Calcutta text. 

Sir William Jones’s Grammar of the Persian 
Language, 

(iii.) The Gulistan of Sa’adi. 

(iv-) The Salaman and Absal of JamT. 

(v.) The Mantik-ut-Tair of Attar. 

(vi.) Binning’s Journal. 

And of Omar Khayyam’s Ruba’iyat, 

(vii.) The Bodleian MS. 

(viii.) The Calcutta MS. 

(ix.) Nicolas’s Translation and Text. 

I propose to examine these materials in their chronological 
order, and call attention to those passages whose echoes we 
find in FitzGerald’s poem. 

L It is not surprising that the future “translator” (in 
default of that better word for which Professor Norton appeals) 
of the Ruba’iyat of Omar Khayyam should first have been 



300 


Some Sidelights 


attracted to the study of Persian by the Odes of Hafirs as 
presented by Professor Coweirs translations, and the examples 
of Sir Wm. Jones, for the two poets are brothers in song 
indeed. There is recorded a saying of the great Akbar himself 
that “ an ode of Hafiz is the wine, and a quatrain of Omar is 
the relish.” I take the following parallels from the Odes of 
Hafiz translated by Cowell : 

Cowell’s Hafiz. FitzGerald’s Ruba’iyat. 

I . Thou knowest not the secrets 52. A moment guess’d — then back 

of futurity, behind the Fold 

There are hidden games behind Immerst of Darkness round the 

the Veil; do not despair. Drama roll’d 

Which, for the Pastime of 
Eternity, 

He doth himself contrive, enact, 
behold. 

There is a parallel for this in the Bodleian MS, : 

94. To speak plain language and not in parables, 
we are the pieces and heaven plays the game, 
we are played together in a baby game upon the chessboard 
of existence, 

and one by one return to the box of non-existence. “ 
FitzGerald took from this his quatrain : 

69. But helpless Pieces of the Game He plays 
Upon this Chequer-board of Nights and Days 
Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays, 

And one by one, back in the Closet lays. 

So that the sentiment of No. 52 comes clearly from Hafiz. 

II. Rest not thy trust on that g-io. And this first Summer Month 

night-patrolling star, 2® for that that brings the Rose 

cunning thief Shall take Jamshyd and Kaiko- 

Hath stolen Kawus’ crown and bad away, 

the girdle of Kay Khusraw. Well, let it take them I What 

have we to do 

With Kaikobiid the Great, or 
Kaikhosru ? 

21. H. S. Jarrett Ain-i-Akbari, by Abu Fazl-i-Allami. Calcutta, 1891. 
Pt. ii„ p, 392. 

jU ^ j U ^1 ^3^; )| 22 

jjlj cab eh ^ ^ 

23. i.e., the Moon. 

24. Moon — Month =:Mah (sUi — Persian synonym. 



upon Edward FitzGerald^s Poem 


301 


V. The morning dawns and the 
cloud has woven a canopy, 

The morning draught, my friends, 
the morning draught 1 . . . 

It is strange that at such a 
season 

They shut up the wine-tavern ! 
oh, hasten 1 

Have they still shut up the door 
of the tavern ? 

Open, oh thou Keeper of the 
Gates I 

The parallel here is obvious, the more so as there is no 
quatrain in the Bodleian or Calcutta MSS. that so com- 
pletely conveys this picture of the unopened tavern. 

VII. The foundations of our peni- 93-4. Indeed, the Idols I have loved 
tence, whose solidity seemed so long 

as of stone — 

See, a cup of glass, how easily Have drown’d my Glory in a 

hath it shattered them shallow Cup 


Indeed, indeed Repentance 
oft before 
I swore . . . 

And then and then came 
Spring, and Rose-in-hand 
My thread - bare Penitence 
a-pieces tore. 

17. Think, in this battered Cara- 
vanserai 

Whose Portals are alternate 
Night and Day, 

How Sultan after Sultan with 
his Pomp 

Abode his destined Hour, and 
wont his way. 

45. ’Tis but a Tent where takes 
his one day’s rest 
A Sultan to the realm of 
Death addrest ; 

&c. &c. (C. 95 & no.) 

It will be borne in mind that FitzGerald read these Odes 
over again in Fraser's Magazine (as he himself indicates in his 
** Letters ”) whilst his poem was in course of construction. 

22 


Since from this caravanserai 
with its two gates departure 
is inevitable. 


3. And, as the Cock crew, those 
who stood before 
The Tavern shouted, Open 
then the Door 1 
You know how little while we 
have to stay. 

And, once departed, may return 
no more.” 



302 


Some Sidelights 

11. We have not, however, finished with Hafiz. His lines 
predominate in Sir Wm. Jones’s Grammar, and these isolated 
passages, with some from other poets, evidently fixed them- 
selves in FitzGerald’s mind when he was deciphering them 
word by word for the purpose of learning the language. 

Jones’s Quotations.^^ FitzGerald’s Ruba’iyat. 

p. 22. Boy, bring the wine, for the 94. Quoted above, 
season □£ the rose ap- 
proaches; 

let us again break our vows 
of repentance in the midst 
of the roses.^ 

The fasl-i^gul (J? Joi), '‘the season of roses,” 

is a common Persian expression to indicate spring. It may 
be observed that this passage was his first introduction to the 
connection of the Rose and Nightingale, so constantly recurring 
in Persian belles-lettres.^'^ 

p.27. The Cypress is graceful, but 41, The Cypress-slender minister 
thy shape is more graceful of wine, 

than the cypress,^ 

p. 89. It is morning; boy, fill the 
cup with wine, 
the rolling heaven makes no 
delay; therefore hasten. 

The sun of the wine rises 
from the east of the cup : 
if thou seekest the delights of 
mirth, leave thy sleep.®® 

25* The Seventh Edition. London, 1809. 

ijW* j'J jS'o i^jS (..aKSj Is jr O-T (isS’ 8 jU jU ^L. 26 

27 Save in No. 6 and remotely in No. 96, FitzGerald has not introduced 
the loves of the Nightingale and the Rose into his poem There are many 
references to it in Jones. Cf. pp. 80, go, 112, 120, etc. 

^ ojloi viSSjo ^ ^ 29 



upon Edward FitzGerald's Poem 


303 


Here we have again the inspiration for the opening 
quatrains cited above, 

p. 102. By the approach of Spring 8. The leaves of life keep falling 
and thereturn of December one by one. 

the leaves of our life are 
continually folded.^ 

This is a distich culled by Sir Wm. Jones from Omar 
Khayyam himself, and from a quatrain which occurs in the 
Calcutta MS. (No. 500), but FitzGerald was evidently ‘‘re- 
minded of it” by Nicolas’s text, where it is No. 402, for the line 
does not occur in his first edition. It was doubtless the above 
quotation that originally fixed it in his mind. 

On p. 1 06. The spider holds the veil in the palace of Caesar; 

The owl stands sentinel on the watch-tower of Afrasiab.®^ 

This is a constantly recurring illustration of the vanity of 
earthly glory in Persian belles-lettres. FitzGerald took his 
quatrain No. 16 from this, and from the Calcutta MS. 

p. nx.A garden more fresh than Iram indeed is gone with all 

the bower of Iram.®® his rose. 

I cannot ascertain whether FitzGerald had studied 
S. Rousseau’s ‘‘Flowers of Persian Literature,” which was 
published in rSoi as “ a companion to Sir W. Jones’s Persian 
Grammar,” but at p. 71 of that work is an account of the 
“ Garden of Iram,” translated by Jonathan Scott from the 
(Tohfet al Mujalis). References to this 
fabulous garden, however, occur constantly in all Persian 
literature. 

At pp. 123-124 occur quotations referring to the images of 
the Caravan in the desert, and the cock-crow rousing the 
apathetic sleepers. At p. 132, in an ode from Hafiz we find 
the inaccessibility of the secrets of futurity and the ignorance 

^ oo/U.# U wwUo. 

jmsA 



304 


Some Sidelights 


of the wise on this subject/® and finally in the list of works 
recommended to the student at the end of the Grammar, we 
find the Salaman and Absal of Jam! to which FitzGerald next 
turned his attention. 

III. We have seen that, whilst FitzGerald’s study of 
Jones’s Persian Grammer was still in progress, he had 
obtained Eastwick’s translation of the Gulistan of Sa’adi, 
and the text printed at Hertford by Napoleon Newton; he 
also studied Semelet’s text and translation (Paris, 1834). 
It is readily comprehensible that a mind already strongly 
attracted by the Sufistic and antinomian verses of Hafiz did 
not enter into warm sympathy with the rhapsodies of the 
essentially pious Sa’adi, but certain isolated passages must 
have impressed him, for we gather distinct echoes of them in 
his poem. The principal are as follows : 

Gulistan.®* FitzGerald’s Ruba’iyat. 

Chapter I., Story 2. 

Many famous men have been 
buried underground 
Of whose existence on earth not 
a trace has remained, 

And that old corpse which had 
been surrendered to the earth 
Was so consumed by the soil 
that not a bone remained.®® 

Here again is a vivid picture of the transitory nature of earthly 
pomp, which is everywhere apparent in Omar Khayyam and 
in FitzGerald’s poem. 

Story g. I spent my precious life 
in hopes, alas ! 

That every desire of my heart 
will be fulfilled ; 

My wishes were realised, but to 
what profit? since 

34. I quote the Kama Shastra Society’s translation, ‘'Benares” (London, 
188S), as being more literally accurate than the rhymed translation of Eastwick. 

oil 6:^ J^\i ^J^ 3ii 



upon Edward Fit^iGerald's Poem 305 

There is no hope that my past 
life will return. 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

My life has elapsed in ignorance, 

I have done nothing — be on 
your guard I 

This is quite in the spirit of Omar, and the quatrains in Fitz- 
Gerald’s poem which echo the sentiment are too numerous to 
quote. 

Story z6. For how many years 33-4. Ourselves must we beneath 
and long lives the couch of earth 

Will the people walk over my Descend — ourselves to make a 

head on the ground ? Couch — for whom ? 

Ah ! make the most of what we 
yet may spend, 

Before we too into the Dust 
descend.^® 

In chapter ii. we find references to the hospitality of 
Hatim Tai (F. 10) and the sweet voice of David (F. 6). In 
chapter v. we recognise the ^‘rumble of a distant drum” 
(F. 13), and in chapter vii. the image of the verdure and 
flowers sprouting from the clay of those who have died before 
us (F. 19-20), But these images are also to be found in Omar, 
so we can only say that FitzGerald met with them originally 
in the Gulistan. 

IV. The Salaman and Absal of JamI occupies a small but 
not unimportant place in this examination, for it was one of the 
works of which FitzGerald laboriously studied the original 
text and made a metrical paraphrase — his first printed volume. 
I have not read the original of this, save in a desultory and 

Jkil j( Jl) ii>^l 

Oil jU 6 ,^ «A.^T jrf 

jIjO 

38. FitzGerald had had before him a passage very analogous to this from 
the Bostan of Sa'adi, quoted in Sacy’s notes to the Pend Nameh (loc. cit , pp. 223-6), 
“After having brought and accumulated goods like the ant, hasten to consume 
them ere that thyself art consumed by the worms of the grave.” 

r/ oi j’ \J^ 



3o6 


Some Sidelights 


superficial mannerj for I found it difficult to arouse my own 
interest in it, but readers of FitzGerald’s paraphrase will 
recognise many lines which contain thoughts which reappeared 
in his ruba’iyat. One passage, however, occurs in it to which 
especial reference must be made, and that is the couplet : 

Drinking, that cup of Happiness and Tears 
In which “Farewell” had never yet been flung. 

This image recurs in FitzGerald’s opening lines of his 
first edition : 

Awake ! for Morning in the Bowl of Night 
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight : 

V, The Mantik-ut-Tair of Ferid-ud-din Attar is by far the 
most important of the materials under examination, for it is 
not too much to say that it might properly have been cited on 
the title-page of FitzGerald’s poem as one of the sources of 
that work. It is one of the most important expositions that 
have come down to us of that alliance of religious revelation 
and mundane philosophy which the Muslims in general, and 
the Sufi philosophers in particular, have from all time attempted 
to demonstrate. The philosophical study of religions is neither 
more nor less than an attempt to solve the enigma of nature, 
and in Persia this study has been the constant care of the 
Sufis. They commence by the postulation of a vast Pantheism 
in which everything is God save alone God himself, everything 
being regarded by them as an emanation from God and every- 
thing being finally reabsorbed into God. As opposed to this, 
Muhammadanism is the gospel of the abstract and personal 
Unity of God, and it is interesting to note that Muhammad, 
admitting the personalities of Moses, the Prophets and Christ, 
looked upon Christianity as a kind of developed Judaism, 
which authorises us in concluding that Islam itself is nothing 
more than an aberration of Christianity. 

Sufism, as it presents itself to the student of Omar Khay- 
yam and Ferid-ud-din Attar, has been admirably described by 



upon Edward FitzGerald's Poem 


307 


the great English traveller and Oriental scholar Sir Richard 
Burton ; he says : It is the religion of beauty, whose leading 
principle is that of earthly, the imperfect type of heavenly love. 
Its high priests are Anacreontic poets ; its rites, wine, music 
and dancing, spiritually considered; and its places of worship, 
meadows and gardens where the perfume of the rose and the 
song of the nightingale, by charming the heart,, are supposed 
to improve the mind of the listener.” The first Sufi (a word 
derived from sw/ — wool, the material of which the robes 
of dervishes and fakirs are made) was one Abu Hashim Kufa, 
who lived in the second half of the eighth century a.d., so that 
Sufism was only two centuries old when Omar Khayyam 
flourished, and undoubtedly its greatest priest and poet 
was Muhammad bin Ibrahim Nishapuri Ferid-ud-dln Attar 
(meaning “ Pearl of the Faith, the Druggist,” from his trade, 
which was that of an oil-presser), born, as his name denotes, 
at Omar’s own town of Nishapur in 1119 a.d., and massacred 
by the soldiers of Gengiz Khan in 1230, and in the noth 
year of his age. The story of his conversion to philosophical 
religion is told to the effect that a Sufi Darvish apostrophized 
him one day in his shop, congratulating himself that he had 
no merchandise to carry on the Mystic Road, or Oriental 
‘‘ Way of Salvation,” and exhorting Attar to prepare himself 
for the journey. 

Attar, like almost every other Persian poet, wrote an immense 
quantity of verse, but his most interesting and important work 
is undoubtedly his Language of Birds,” a title which he 
borrowed from the passage in the Qur’an, where Solomon 
declares, on his accession to the throne of David, Oh, men ! 
I understand the language of the birds. No exposition of 
the doctrines of Sufism could be more complete than that 
contained in this book, and as those doctrines are prominent 

39. K. F. Burton. “ Sindh, and the Races that inhabit the Valley of the 
Indus." London, 1851. Ch. viii., p. 201. 

40. Chap, xxvii., v. 16. 



3oS Some Sidelights 

in the sentiments of Omar Khayyam, we may shortly state 
them, as follows : 

(i.) All created beings are emanations from God 
and are finally reabsorbed in God. 

(ii.) Since God orders all things, good and bad 
are indifferent, a doctrine identical with that of the 
early Christian schismatics called Adamites,’’ whose 
rites and tenets, by the way, leave much to be desired 
on the score of social ethics. 

(iii.) The soul is everything and the body im- 
prisons it, therefore death is merely a return to God.*^ 

And these doctrines are clothed in a wealth of imagery, 
often licentious, which, like the doctrine of Platonism, invoke 
God under the form of beauty, pleasure, and woman — which 
are one. It may be observed that the Sufis do not admit the 
contention of the strict Muhammadans that they are heretics i 
indeed, Attar himself, in the epilogue to this poem, says 
(as Omar said before him^®), I am neither a Muslim nor an 
infidel,” and immediately after implores God to keep him 
firm in the faith of Islam, and to make him die therein.^® 

I will now, following as far as possible the system observed 
above, point out some of the principal parallels between the 
Mantik-ut-Tair and FitzGerald’s Ruba’iyat. The lines in the 
Mantik are counted by distichs (d). 

41. Qur an, chap, i , v. 151 , *' We are of God and return to him. 

42. “ Beneath this heaven of azure marble I am neither an independent 
infidel nor a perfect Muslim,” which is L. 527. C. 3^0, W. 3^7. N. 315. S P 314 
P. 302, B. 532, B. ii. 417. 

ii ^ jilS- ^ ^ 

43- d. 4592. I remain neither an infidel nor a Muslim, 

Between the two I remain bewildered. 

44. d. 4595. Open this door to worthless me, 

And indicate a path to this pathless (/os^) one, 

j Oil o- .rf 

. JO ^ 4S 



upon Edward FitzGerald's Poem 


309 


Mantik-ut-Tair. 

4. To this (i.sj., the sky) he has 
imparted a perpetual motion.^® 
d, 24. The sky is like a bird that 
flutters along the path God 
has appointed for it.^^ 
d. 145. What is the sky, like a bowl 
turned upside down, unstable, 
stationary and revolving at the 
same time,^® 

d. 2290. The sky is like a dish 
turned upside down.^s 
d* 38. From the back' of the Fish 
(Mahi) to the Moon (Mah) 
every atom attests Him.®“ 


FitzGerald, 

72. And that inverted Bowl they 
call the Sky, 

As impotently moves as you 
or I. 


51. Taking all shapes from Mah 
to Mahi. 

They change and perish all, 
but He remains I 


A score of passages might be quoted in which this figure 
occurs. FitzGerald’s quatrain came, as a whole, from the 
Calcutta MS. (C. 72). 

d, 147-8. Can he who during so 32. There was the Door to which 
many years . . . has impotently I found no key ; 

frequented the Door, know There was the Veil through 

what is behind the veil.^^^ which I might not see. 

This is also an image which constantly recurs. 


d, 152. Those who before us 
entered upon the Path 
have studied the Mystery time 
and ag<ain. 

They have agitated themselves 
profoundly and in the end 
their result is feebleness and 
astonishment.®*'* 


ls* ^ 


26. Why all the Saints and Sages 
who discuss’d 

Of the Two Worlds so wisely 
— they are thrust 
Like foolish Prophets forth; 

their words to scorn 
Are scattered and their Mouths 
arc stopt with Dust. 

wJIo f*|oU 

Jv t/* 

&U.J l> j| Ka .Mil. lift jJb 

51 

tJJUAMl 6jiJiS ^ jl 



310 


Some Sidelights 


There is a quatrain in Omar (L. 326, C. 236, B. 322, 
W. 147, N. 120, S. P. 120) which is almost identical with this. 

At d, 2 i 6-8. Oh I Thou who pardonest my faults and acceptest my excuses, I 
am an hundred times consumed, why burn me again. It is by 
thy impulsion that my blood boils ; lei me shew my ardour. 

Here we have part of the sentiment of the quatuor of 
quatrains There is a parallel quatrain for this in Omar, 

(L. 449, C. 286, W. 276, N, 236, S. P. 235, B. 445, B, ii. 308) 
but the whole of this great quatuor is a redelivery of the 
sentiments conveyed in the parable quoted here; a little 
further on we find dd. 217 (6^^^) to 220. “Oh! Thou 
my Creator I the good and the bad actions that I com- 
mit, I commit with my body. Pardon my weakness and 
efface my . faults. I am led away by my natural instincts 
and cast by Thee into uncertainty ; therefore the good and 
the bad I do comes from Thee.”^^ And further, d. 225: 
“Thou hast planted in the centre of my soul a black mole 
original sin). Thou hast marked me with a spot as 
black as the skin of an Abyssinian ; but if I do not become 
Thy mole, how can I become accepted by Thee? There- 
fore to attain that state I have made my heart like a black 
Abyssinian slave.” s® Here we have the original of the lines : 
For all the Sin with which the face of Man 
Is blackened, Man’s forgiveness give — and take ! 

This plea for reciprocal forgiveness appears again with 
great force at d. 4618 : “ Deign to notice neither the good nor 
the bad that I have done. Since Thou createdst me gratuitously, 
Thou must pardon me gratuitously.”®’ We shall presently 

O'* jj— 8j 0-. )y] jic jy,] sUS" ^,1 53 

U y 

54- By an error of the Editor the numbers ai, to 220 are repeated twice. 

(.1 ii y, ^1 ajy 04 ^ ^ iaiu. 65 

ly ^ ^ \jM ^ JOB 

r j y j ss 

.A uiy.X!J 6 ^ b ^ ^ y 

J v>.y- J* ji 


sr 



^ipon Edward FitzGerald's Poem 


311 

find other passages in the Mantik-ut-Tair which are iden- 
tical in sentiment with this quatuor. We will proceed again 
with the parallel passages. 

Mantik-ut-Tair. FitzGerald. 

d. 240. So loii^ as my Soul comes 43. And, offering his Cup, invite 
not forth to my lips, I will your Soul 

cherish these thoughts.^s Forth to your Lips to quaff — 

dd. 2501 and 3031 open passages you shall not shrink, 

containing this same meta- 
phor.so 

rf. 302. One night he (Muhammad) 31. Upfrom Earth’s Centre through 
ascended to heaven, and all the Seventh Gate 

secrets were revealed to I rose and on the Throne of 

him from God he Saturn sate ; 

obtained complete under- And many a Knot unravel’ d by 

standing of all things.eo the Road. 

The Seven Gates,” or Seven Heavens,” recur con- 
tinually all through the poem, sc. dd, 271®^ and 1818,'’® etc. 
At d, 451 we find a reference to the life-giving breath of 
Jesus, and at d, 453 to the White Hand of Moses. At 
d, 742 et passim the loves of the Nightingale and the Rose,®® 

At rf, 972. An observer of Spiritual 33. Earth could not answer; nor 
Things approached the the Seas that mourn 

Ocean, and asked ^it why it In flowing Purple of their 

was clad in blue (purple) ; Lord forlorn, 

why this robe of mourning 
. , , The Ocean replied 

. . . “ I weep for my 

separation from The Friend. 

og#l J&.T |*ij (a) 

d^T ji C5^ ^ (6) 

cs^ 



312 


Some Sidelights 


Since, by reason of my in- 
sufficiency, I am not worthy 
of him, I am clad in blue 
on account of the sorrow 

that I suffer. ”^55 

These are the two lines upon which Professor Cowell has 
given us the note which gave me the first clue for these 
researches. A curious illustration of FitzGerald’s method 
is found in connection with the passage at d, 1017: '‘The true 
dawn was the light of his countenance.” This, together with 
Mr. Binning’s note on the phenomena of the Oriental sunrise, 
produced his line and note concerning "the Phantom of 
False Morning.” The process will be set out further on. 

At d. 1559, We, all of us, leave the 29. And out of it, as Wind along 
world like Wind, it has gone the Waste, 

and we must go too.“ I know not Whither, willy- 

nilly blowing. 

This is one of two frequently recurrent images of death 
in Persian poetry; the other we find in d. 2288. " Knowest thou 
not that every man who is born, sinks into the earth and the 
wind disperses his elements,”^® — a figure as frequently found in 
Omar as the former one. 

At d. 1866. Heaven and Hell are re- 
flections, the one of thy 
goodness, and the other of 
thy anger.'^° 

Here, again, we have a true original, for there is no parallel 
for No. 68 in Omar. FitzGerald was reminded of it, but no 


68. Heav’n but the Vision of ful- 
fill’d Desire, 

And Hell the Shadow from a 
Soul on fire. 


J)l 1*1 

rij; s?- r“ ^ ^ j 

^■^i*^** y ^ 


,1 Jj. ^ ^ Uj 

r'-iJ ts* “ 

ti\j jJb ^ 

til y 



%t>pon Edward FitzGerald^s Poem 313 

more, by quatrain 33 of the Bodleian, and 90 of the Calcutta 
MSS., which reads : 

The heavenly vault is the girdle of my weary body, 

Jihuii is a watercourse worn by my filtered tears, 

Hell is a spark from my useless worries, 

Paradise is a moment of time when I am tranquil.'^^ 

We trace in this quatrain the original of “ the Soul on Fire.” 

We find the first mention of “the rumble of the distant 
drum,” at d. 2162, “ He whose lofty station is indicated by the 
drum and the standard, cannot become a darvish,”’^ and at 
2733? ** Were it not better to strike the drum of sovereignty,” 
etc.’* 

At rf. 3340. Hcwho contr oiled the world beneath his signet-ring Solomon) 

is actually an element beneath the earth."^^ 

This figure occurs in various forms in Omar, and has been 
freely made use of by FitzGerald. 

At tL 3342. The dead sleep beneath 29 the fire of Anguish 

the earth, but though asleep in some Eye 

they are anguished.’^^ There hidden, far beneath and 

long ago. 

Closely following these passages, we find the following 
fable : 

ii, 2345. (On a certain occasion) Jesus drank of the water of a clear stream 
whose flavour was more sweet than that of rose-water. By his 
side, a certain one filled his jar at this same stream and then 
withdrew. Then Jesus drank a little from this jar, and pursued 
his way, but now he found the water bitter, and stood amazed. 
“ Oh, Godl’’ he said, “the water of the stream and that in the 
jar are identical ; explain to me the mystery of this difference in 
the flavour, why is the water in the jar bitter and that in the 
stream more sweet than honey.” Then spake the jar these 
words to Jesus: “ I am, of old, a man. I have been kshioned 


i4LA>Mi| cihiil j) 

^ 

y j\ 


iA»| 6,XSbL. ji jij 



314 


Some Sidelights 


a thousand times beneath the seven-domed heavens, now into 
a vase, now into a jar, and again into a bowl. They may 
refashion me again a thousand times, but I shall always be 
tainted with the bitterness of death. It so impregnates me that 
water contained in me can never be sweet.” 

FitzGerald, in his paraphrase of the Mantik,*^^ rendered 
this answer very beautifully ; 

The Clay that I am made of, once was Man, 

Who dying, and resolved into the same 
Obliterated Earth from which he came 
Was for the Potter dug and chased in turn 
Through long vicissitude of Bowl and Urn : 

But, howsoever moulded, still the pain 
Of that first mortal Anguish would retain. 

And cast and re-cast, for a Thousand years 
Would turn the sweetest Water into Tears. 

And it was to this passage of the Mantik, and to this 
alone, that we owe the quatrain No. 38. 

And has not such a Story from of Old 
Down Man’s successive generations roll’d. 

Of such a clod of saturated Earth 
Cast by the Maker into Human mould ? 

In the comment upon this parable in the Mantik we find 
the original of another quatrain of Fitzgerald. 


v-jjJlS* jl (l«jT (•UU 

ol^ ^ 

^L> jJb 


[3^ 

^ ^ |Ub l%Jb 1*1 dXSu^ 


oT 

--ab 

L kiL^sS 
*-r^T m 1^ U 
JO *x#T ^ ^Ji^, 

jljJs ^5jU W 


77 This paraphrase was never published during Fitii Gerald’s lifetime. 
It occupies pp 433-452 of vol. ii. of his - Letters and Literary Remains.” (Vide 
Kote 12.) ^ 



upon Edward Fitr.Gerald's Poem 


315 


<^*3355. Thou thyself art lost. Oh! 53. But if in vain, down on the 
Thou that pursuest the stubborn floor 

Mystery. Strive to discover Of Earth, and up to Heav’n’s 

it, ere thy life be reft from unopening Door, 

thee, for if, to-day, whilst You gaze To-rfay while You are 

thou livest thou findest not You— how then 

thyself, how then, when To-morrow, You when shall be 

thou art dead, shalt thou You no more? 

unravel the secret of thine 
existence ? 

The whole doctrine of the evanescence of the world is 
contained in the 27th chapter, which immediately follows 
this, and which contains the germ of one of FitzGerald’s most 
sarcastic quatrains ; 

d. 2409. If thou seekest a moment 65. The Revelations of Devout and 
of well-being in this world, Learn’d 

Sleep ! and then repeat Who rose before us and as 

what thou hast seen in thy Prophets burn’d 

dreams.*^ Are all but Stories which awoke 

from Sleep, 

They told their comrades and 
to Sleep returned. 

It may be observed, however, that FitzGerald translated 
his quatrain from No. 127 of the Calcutta MS. 

We come now to another most interesting side-light upon 
FitzGerald’s mental process. There is in the Calcutta MS. 
(but not in the Bodleian MS. or Nicolas) a quatrain, No. 387, 
which may be thus rendered : 

Neither thou nor I know the Secret of Eternity, 

And neither can thou nor I read this Enigma. 

There is talk of me and thee behind the curtain, 

(But) When they raise the curtain there remains neither thee nor me.“ 

From this FitzGerald constructed two remarkable verses: 

32. There was the Door to which I found no Key ; 

There was the Veil through which I might not see : 

^ oW- jb 

^ y / 

^ i i^b^ y ^ O'* ^ y ^ 



3 i6 


Some Sidelights 


Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee 
There was — and then no more of Thee and Me. 

34. Then of the Thee in Me who works behind 
The Veil, I lifted up my hands to find 
A lamp amid the Darkness: and I heard, 

As from Without, “ The Me within Thee blind 

There are those, I believe, “ who by Genius and by Power 
of Brain” have found these two quatrains quite simple and 
self-explanatory. For my own part, I confess that I never 
understood them in the least until I found the two passages in 
Ferid-ud-din Attar, which evidently surged up in FitzGerald’s 
brain when he read the Calcutta quatrain. They are as 
follows : 

d, 3090. The Creator of the world spoke thus to David from behind the 
Curtain of the Secret: “Everything in the world, good or bad, 
visible or invisible, is mere substitute, unless it be Me, Me for 
whom thou canst find neither substitute nor equal. Since 
nothing can be substituted for Me, do not cease to abide in Me. 
I am thy soul, be not separated from Me; I am necessary, thou 
art dependent upon Me . . . Seek not to exist apart from Me.”®^ 

and 

d, 3735. “Since long ago, really, I am Thee and Thou art Me, we two are 
but one. Art thou Me or am I Thee, is there any duality 
in the matter ? Or else, I am thee, or thou art me, or thou, 
thou art thyself. Since thou art me and I am thee for ever, our 
two bodies are one. That is all I ” 

This is an admirable specimen of the Sufistic argument of 
Unity with God, or the Thee-in-Me that FitzGerald has 
introduced with such mystic skill into his Ruba’iyat, 

^ CjlswsJl (3^ O'* tjlsUDl 

\x^ ^ \j>* Ul 

ii Jilp &ai&. ^ y U 

0 ] ^ 0*^ ^ y* o^ O"* 

y y j O'* cs^ ^ ojit ®- 

^yy y ^ o* y ry ^ \3y o* ^ ty-* y 

o* y y y o**^ o* y o>^ 



upon Edward FitzGerald's Poem 317 

I have never found in Omar any mention of 

The Mighty Mahmoud Allah -breathing Lord 
That all the misbelieving and black Horde 
Of Fears and Sorrows that infest the Soul 
Scatters before him with his whirlwind Sword. 

The reference is to Mahmoud the Ghasnawi, who made war 
upon the black infidels of Hindostan, whose conquest and 
its sequelae are related at d. 3117 of the Mantik. The main 
image of the quatrain, the dispersal of fears and sorrows by 
wine, comes primarily to FitzGerald from a quatrain which is 
No, 81 in the Bodleian and No. 180 in the Calcutta MSS. 

In like manner, though Omar is full of allusions to the 
dead that come not back again, the precise image of our 
ignorance of the road they travel comes primarily from the 
Mantik : 

d. 3205. No one has returned to 
the world after having 
travelled that Road, no 
one knows how many para- 
sangs it extends . . . Fool 
that thou art 1 how can 
those who have been lost 
in the Road for ever tell 
us of it,^« 

This passage is quoted in the Notes to De Sacy’s Pend 
Naineh, where FitzGerald originally saw it. 

At rf. 3229 we find an allegory related by Amru Osman, in 
which we read of the presence of the Snake (Iblis) in Paradise 
at the moment of the creation of Adam (FitzGerald 81), and at 
rf, 3248 Satan argues with the Creator quite in the manner of 
FitzGerald*s great quatuorof quatrains: If malediction comes 
from thee, there comes also mercy ; the created thing is de- 
pendent upon thee since destiny is in thy hands. If maledic- 

ii 4^1 al; Qi) 

23 


6^. Strange is it not? that of the 
myriads who 

Before us pass’d the door of 
Darkness through 
Not one returns to tell us of 
the Road, 

Which to discover, we must 
V travel too. 



31 8 Some Sid'elights 

tion be my lot, I do not fear; for every poison there is an 
antidote.’’®* 

Finally, at d. 4620, we find the dying words of Omar’s 
reputed friend Ni^am ul Mulk, recorded by FitzGerald in his 
letter to Professor Cowell of 28th December, 1867,®^ and quoted 
in a note to his Introduction. 

The parallel passages cited at so much length above 
might have been considerably increased, but I think that 
enough have been recorded to exhibit the intimate connection 
between Fitzgerald’s study of this Author and his own poem. 

VI. We now come to the last of the authorities cited as 
FitzGerald’s material for his work, the Journal of Mr. Binning, 
from which he drew very largely for his notes. To the 
student of Oriental manners and customs no more interesting 
or delightful work has been written, the conservative tendencies 
of the Persians having militated successfully against any pro- 
gress in their social conditions, so that the reader of the latest 
travel-journal of Persia finds little or nothing altered in the 
state of the country from what was described by Binning, and 
before him by Dr. Wolff,®® by the Hon. Mountstuart Elphin- 
stone,®*^ and by even earlier travellers. 

FitzGerald’s first note about the False Dawn is taken 
from vol, i., p. 176, practically word for word. It is curious 
to note that in speaking of the subh i sadik 
True Dawn, FitzGerald has followed Binning in his Persian 
phrase for False Dawn, the subh i kazih (s- 0 ^ ^ phrase 

that does not occur in Omar. In quatrain 145 of the Calcutta 
MS. we find the synonym subh i azrak literally 

j^j 

oLai^l gy uaIWI piSia 85 

86. Joseph Wolff, D.D., LL.D. "Narrative of a Mission to Bokhara in 
the years 1843-1845." London, 1846 

87. Vide Note 8. 



upon Edward FitzGerald's Poem 319 

‘*the blue dawn/' having the same meaning, which one would 
have expected FitzGerald (who had it before him) to use. 

Mr. Binning’s work, besides referring at some length to 
the Mantik-ut-Tair of Attar, contains translations of a dozen 
odes of Hafiz which we know were in FitzGerald’s mind 
(together with those of Cowell) when he was constructing his 
poem. One or two passages from these translations will show 
what I mean : 

III. The season of Spring has arrived : endeavour now to 
be merry and gay while thou art able ; for the roses wdll blow 
again and again, after thou art laid under the sod. 

V. Bring the right medicine for all the pains and troubles 
of love — namely, the juice of the grape — for that is the true 
panacea for all ills that beset both the young and the old. 

VI. When Hafiz has become fairly intoxicated, he cares 
not a barleycorn for the whole Empire of the Cyruses. 

VIL At early dawn I walked forth into the garden to pluck 
a rose, when suddenly the plaintive voice of a nightingale fell on 
mine ear. The poor bird like myself, was in love with the rose, 
and, sick with the passion, warbled its complaint. 

XII. Bring the wine, O cupbearer, for the season of roses 
has arrived, that we may again break our vows of abstinence 
among the rosebushes. 

It will be observed that some of these have already been 
quoted by Professor Cowell and Sir William Jones. 

Mr. Binning’s information about the festival of the Nu- 
ruz (New Year), reproduced by FitzGerald, is to be found at 
vol. i., p. 346, and vol. ii., pp. 160, 165 and 207, and the 
account of Bahram Gur is taken from vol, ii., pp. 353 and 
357, though we have it recorded by FitzGerald himself in his 
letters that he made a superficial study of the Haft Paikar, 
of Nizami, which contains the legend of that hero’s Seven 
Castles and the seven ladies inhabiting them, who recount 
their stories in turn in true Oriental style. 


88 Loc. cit , Note 12, vol. i., p. 266 



320 Some Sidelights ^ipon Edward FitzGerald^s Poem 

At the risk of being wearisomely prolix, I have set out the 
above parallels seriatim, encouraged by the belief that nothing 
that adds to our knowledge of the history of FitzGerald’s 
beautiful poem can lack interest for the students and admirers 
of that poem. The array might have been largely extended, 
but not, I think, with any great advantage. It has been enough 
to show that, as I stated at the outset, FitzGerald’s Ruba’iyat 
of Omar Khayyam” is, in addition to being a remarkable para- 
phrase of Omar’s incomparable quatrains, a synthetical result 
of our poet’s entire course of Persian studies. 

London, July, 1898. 




(Gratitude is due that this book is finished